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liERKi/ncR County 


ITS "IZ^ V.s 




D. MASON & CO., Publishers. 




70 '}') 

To the Citizens of Herkimer County 

When the publishers, in 1892, declared their intention to publish 
another history of Herkimer County, they made inquiry as to the 
unbound volumes of the history prepared by Judge Benton, and 
issued in 1856. Such information as they desired was furnished them 
on that subject, and then they asked if consent would be given to aid 
and assist in supervising their proposed publication. 

As a century had passed since the organization of the County, and 
thirty- six years had elapsed since the publication of " Benton's His- 
tory," it was believed that many events not noticed in that work could 
be collected, and that, with the multitude of events transpiring since 
that time, the proposed work would be welcomed. Therefore consent 
was given to aid in gathering material; in advising as to events known; 
in suggesting sources from which facts could be obtained worthy of 
being recorded. 

After such consent was given, it was found necessary to have an 
immediate assistant to look after details, and to prepare descriptions 
and outlines of events worthy of notice. For such puipose Mr. 
Frank H. Willard was mentioned and engaged by the publishers, and 
he has with fidelity performed the work assigned to him. 

It was known that the late Samuel Earl had collected much valuable 
information concerning early events and written many articles record- 
ing them. An application was suggested and made to his son, Robert 
Earl 2d, and to his brother. Judge Earl, who promptly and cheerfully 
gave access to all the articles written and information gathered by 
Mr. S. Earl, and the same have been valuable aids in preparing the 
following pages. 


Valuable information has also been furnished by W. T. Loomis, Esq.; 
by Mr. William G. Milligan and manj' others, to whom grateful ac- 
knowledgments are due, and therefore given. 

The County bears a patriot's name, and it is hoped that the reader 
may find in these pages evidences that its citizens have in times past 
and passing, honored tlie hero of the battle of Oriskany. 

The bench and bar, as well as many distinguished members of the 
legal and other professions who have had their origin in this Count}', 
have been given extended notice. 

The manufacturing industries developed in the County have received, 
as tliey justlv merit, considerable attention. 

The portraits found in the work, with biographical sketches accom- 
panying them, serve to illustrate the character of citizens who have 
had their homes within the bounds of the County, and it is believed 
they will furnish interesting features of the work. 

The publishers have given painstaking attention to every detail in 
the mechanical preparation of this volume. The engravings have been 
carefully executed by artists of well-known ability, and the letter-press, 
binding and gilding are in excellent style. 

Vigilant eftbrts have been made to trace authoritatively the events 
narrated, and give reliable information as to the scenes and deeds 
which have given the County a worthy position in the Empire State. 

To its citizens the work is submitted, in the hope that it will meet 
with their approbation. 


George A. Hardin. 

Little Falls, N. Y., May, 1893. 













































INDEX 251 






NEARLY three-quarters of a century had passed after the first ad- 
vent of permanent white settlers into the valley of the upper Mo- 
hawk river — a period made historically memorable by the occurrence 
of many important events and the enactment of deeds of valor and 
heroism — before Herkimer county existed as a subdivision of the State 
of New York. The original ten counties of the colony were created 
November i, 1683, and named Albany, New York, Dutchess, Kings, 
Orange, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, Ulster, and Westchester On 
March 11, 1772, Montgomery county was created, under the name of 
Tryon (changed in 1784), and embraced nearly the whole of the cen- 
tral and western part of the State. Herkimer county was erected from 
Montgomery February 16, 1791, and received its name in honor of the 
distinguished general, Nicholas Herkimer. As first formed the county 
embraced a vast extent of territory, extending from its eastern boundary 
westward to the eastern boundary of Ontario county, exclusive of the 
territory of Otsego and Tioga counties, which were erected at the same 
date with Herkimer. The boundaries of the county as originally given 
were as follows ; All the territory bounded north by Lake Ontario, the 



river St. Lawrence, and tlie north bounds of the State ; easterly by the 
counties of Clinton, Washington and Saratoga, as they then were ; south 
eriy by the counties of Montgomery, Otsego and Tioga. From this 
large tract of country Onondaga county was set ofif in 1794 ; Oneida in 
1798 ; Chenango, from Herkimer and Tioga, in 1798 ; and these counties 
have been variously subdivided at later dates. In 18 16 parts of the towns 
of Richfield and Flainfield, in Otsego county, were taken, with a part 
of Litchfield, Herkimer county, to form the present town of Winfield. 
(See chapter 5 of the Laws of 1817, and chapter 228 of Lawsof 1816.) 
In 1817 the towns of Salisbury and Manheim, and all that part of Min- 
den (Montgomery county) now comprised in Danube and Stark, were 
annexed to Herkimer county. (See chapter 184 of Laws of 18 17.) 
This county as it now exists covers an area of 1,370 square miles, and 
is bounded on the north by St. Lawrence county ; on the east by Ham- 
ilton, Fulton and Montgomery counties; on the south by Otsego coun- 
ty ; and on the west by Oneida and Lewis counties. 

The present county comprises within its limits the following tracts 
and parts of tracts of land granted by tlie crown before the Revolution, 
and by the State since the treaty of 1783 : 


Adgate's Tract, '-.. 
Bayard's Patent,'.. 

Brown's (John) Tract,*- 

Cosby's Manor, ' ._ 

Colden's (A. ' Patent 

Frank (Conrad) & Go's Patent,. 

Fall-Hill Patent. -- 

Glen's Purchase 

Hommedieu's (I/) Patent, 

Henderson's Patent," 

Hasenclever's Patent, 

Johnson's (Guy) Patent, 

Jersey field Patent," 

Kass's Patent, 

Lindsay's Patent, 

Livingston's Patent,' 

Lispenard's Patent,' 

Lansinjr's Patent,' .,. 

McComb's Purchase.' 

McNeil's Patent, 

Match in's Patent,' _. 

Nobleborough Tract,'. _ 

Moose River Tract," 


Petrie's Purchase,.- i 1740 

Royal Grant | 

43,907 j Mathew Adgate. 

50,000 ; William Bayard, Alexander Ellis, and fifty-three 
j others. 

I A part of i,Q2o,ooo acres granted to Alexander Ma- 

I comb. 

g,4Do Johan Joost Petri, and ninety-three others. 

3,000 Cadwallader Colden, the younger, and Coenradt 

I Ryghtmeyer. 
22,000 Joseph WoiTell, William Cosby, and nine others. 

4,000 Alexander Colden. and three others. 

5,000 Coenradt Frank, and five others. 

2,324 I Johan Joost and Hendrik Herchkeimer. 

4,000 I Kzra L'Hommedieu and Nathaniel Piatt. 

6,000 James Henderson, and two others 
18.000 I Peter Hasenclever, and seventeen others. 

2,000 Guy Johnson. Forfeited by attainder of G. J. 
94,000 Henry Glen, Alexander Ellis, and ninety-two others 

1,100 Johan J[urgh Kass. and his children. 

3,000 I John Lindsay and Philip Livingston. 
20,000 I Philip Livingston, and nineteen others. 

9,200 ■ Leonard Lispenard, and thirteen others. 

6,000 Jacob and Abraham Lansing, and Jacob GleD. 

j Alexander Macomb. 

4,000 I John McNeil, and three others. 

1,600 Thomas Matchin. 
40,960 ! Arthur Noble. 

i Owned by the State, except 13,080 gfranted ini847 to 

j Anson Blake. 

6,000 John Tost Petrie, and two others. 

! Sir William Johnson. 








Henry Remsen and three others. 

Snell and Timmerman'sPatent-. 


Jacob Timbernian and Johan Joost Schnell. 



Nicholas Herchkeimer, and fifteen others. 

Schuyler's Patent .. 

Abraham Lynsen, and twenty-one others. 

Totten and Crossfield Patent •-. 

Vrooraan's Patent,* 


Isaac Vrooman. 

do --- 


Isaac \ rooman. 



Isaac Vrooman 

Van Driesen, Peter,. . _ 

Petrus Van Driessen. 

Van Driesen, John ,. .. 



Johan Van Driessen. 

Van Home's Patent,'.. 


Abraham \ an Home, and three others. 

Vaughn's Patent 



John Vaughn, and seven others. 

Watson's James Tract,* . 

A part of Macomb's purchase. 

Winne's Patent, 

2 000 

Peter Winne. 

Walton's Patent, -. 


12 000 

William Walton, jr., and eleven others. 

Young's Patent,* 



Theobald Young, and ten others. 

This mark (') denotes that the lands indicated are partly in Herkimer, and partly in other 

The foregoing table indicates that the title to most of the lands in the 
county was granted by the crown before the beginning of the Revolution, 
and those grants were recognized as valid by the constitution of 1777; 
but at the same time the State was left free to protect itself against 
treason or hostility by any person holding under the grants, as hereafter 

In explanation of the table the following details are of interest : 

The original evidence of ownership of the Burnetffield lots were certificates given 
the grantees in the winter and spring of 1723. The next transaction in land in the 
county was the purchase of the Kast patent in 1724 by the family of that name, who 
were among the Burnetsfield patentees. John Jurgh Kast and his son of the same name 
had each received a thirty-acre lowland and a seventy-acre upland lot, and the family 
now bought a tract of 1,100 acres on the river in Schuyler, half way between East and 
West Schuyler villages. Next came Lindsey's purchase, covermg 3,000 acres in oblong 
form, beginning on the south bank of the Mohawk, a mile and a half below Little Falls, 
taken by John Lindsey and Philip Livingston in 1730 ; then Van Home's, made in the 
following year by Abraham Van Home and three others, the tract consisting of 8,000 
acres about the Canajoharie castle. 

The next tract taken up was the famous Cosby 's Manor, granted in 1734. The part 
of this tract within Herkimer county formed a block about seven miles square, beginning 
just west of Frankfort village (about two-thirds lying south of. the river), and surround- 
ing East's patent. The chief patentee was Governor William Cosby. The property 
passed into the hands of Lady Grace Cosby, and was the subject of a correspondence 
between herself, her agent, Sir William Johnson, and Oliver De Lancey, the latter of 
whom in the summer of 1762 bought the tract for himself and Janie.^ Jauncey, Peter 
Remsen and Goldsbrow Banyar, paying £6,000 currency. 

Next to Cosby 's Manor in date of granting was the tract of 1,000 acres on the 
north bank of the river, just east of Little Falls, purchased by Rev. Peter Van Driesen 


in 1737. Ill the next year Cadwallader Golden took 3,000 acres in a strip a mile and a 
quarter wide running south from Van Home's patent to Otsquago Creek. 

One of the most important of the earliest patents was Glen's purchase, so called from 
Jacob Glen, the patentee. The tract of land involved consisted of 25,076 acres, occupy- 
ing, in general terms, the eastern part of the town of Herkimer, the southern half of 
Fairfield, Little Falls north of the river, and the western part of Manheim. The Indian 
title was extinguished in 1734. 

In 1738 five of the lots were granted to Patrick McClaughry and Andrew McDowell, 
and eight to James De Lancey, John Lindsay, and Abraham Glen. In 1739 three were 
granted to Lendert Helmer, two to Jacob Glen, three to Archibald Kennedy, three to 
John Schuyler, jr., three to Arent Brant, and three to Philip Schuyler. In 1761 three 
were granted to Samuel Auchunity, three to William Mitchell, and three to William 

Henderson's patent of 6,000 acres was granted to James Henderson, his son of the 
same name, and John Kelly, 1739. Most of it is embraced in the town of Warren. In 
1741 Peter Wiime bought 2,000 acres on both sides of West Canada Creek; except 
where bounded by the Burnetsfield patent on the south, this tract was surrounded by 
the Hasenclever patent. The southern part of the town of Warren is embraced in 
Young's patent, granted in 1752 to Theobald, Adam, Frederick, and Andries Young, 
and seven others. In the same year Joban and Hendrick Herkemer bought 2,324 
acres on the south bank of the river, extending from Lindsay's purchase to the eastern- 
most Burnetsfield lots. Lansingh's patent was granted in the following year to Jacob 
and Abraham Lansingh and Jacob Glen. The part of it in Herkimer county lay in the 
south of Danube and the northwestern part of Stark. 

A strip along the southeastern side of Winfield was part of a tract of 43,000 acres 
granted in 1755 to Daniel Schuyler and twenty-one others and called Schuyler's patent. 
Snell and Timmerman's tract, 3,000 acres, in the southern part of Manheim, was granted 
in the same year. In 1755 were also granted Staley's first and second tracts, so called, 
containing 34,000 acres. The patentees were Rudolph Staley, Johan Joost Herkimer, 
jr., Nicholas Herkimer and fifteen others. The first tract, together with the river, sur- 
rounded all the Burnetsfield lots south of the Mohawk, except the easternmost five, and 
extended south far enough to take in most of the present towq of German Flats. The 
second tract included almost all of the town of Columbia. Between the two, in narrow 
form, lay Staley's third tract, also called Frank's patent, from Conrad and Frederick 
Frank, who were interested in it. 

In 17C1 John McNeil and three others bought wliat has been called McNeil's patent, 
in the southern part of Stark. In this year, too, Alexander Colden, William Willett, 
Stephen De Lancey and Christopher Blundell procured the patent called by the name 
of the first of these gentlemen. It consisted of 4,000 acres, mostly on the north side of 
the river, filling the space between Burnetsfield and Cosby's Manor ; eight small lots 
south of the river embraced the site of Frankfort village. 

Livingston's patent, part of which occupied the southeastern corner of Stark, was 
granted in 1702. In 1765 Guy Johnson bought 2,000 acres, now about equally divided 
between the southeastern corner of German Flats and the adjoining portion of Little 


Falls. Walton's patent ran along the western county line from Cosby's Manor to Wes-t 
Canada Creek, with a breadth of two and a half miles ; it was granted in 1768. In the 
following year Peter Hasenclever and seventeen others bought what has since been 
called Hasenclever's patent. It consisted of 18,000 acres, all but a small portion of 
which was bounded by Cosby's Manor, Walton's and Alexander Colden patents and 
West Canada Creek. 

The Royal Grant (so called) comprised a large tract of land lying between the Can- 
ada Creeks which was acquired by Sir William Johnson from his Indian friends in 1760, 
and for which he received a patent from the government in 1769. The tiact embraced 
about 66,000 acres and lay back of the lands previously granted. 

In 1770 8,000 acres, comprising most of Little Falls south of the river and the west- 
ern corner of Danube, were granted to John Vaughn and seven others, forming the 
Vaughn patent. In the same year the Jersey field patent was made to ninety-four per- 
sons, 1,000 acres to each, bounded by the Royal Grant, West Canada Creek, the line 
which forms the northern boundary of Salisbury, and the eastern county line. Bayard's 
patent, purchased by two brothers of that name and fifty-three others in 1774, embraced 
most of the towns of Litchfield and Winfield. In 178G Isaac Vrooman bought 4,000 
acres, and in 1790, 10,193 acres in a narrow strip extending across Danube and 
parts of Manheim and Stark. The other 428 acres of Manheim were taken in 1786 by 
John Van Driesen. In the same year Thomas Matchin bought 1,600 acres on the north 
side of West Canada Creek in the town of Russia. The Totten and Crossfield purchase 
was made in that year, and included 25,200 acres, part of which was in the northeast- 
ern corner of the county. In the same year Ezra L'Hommedieu and Nathaniel Piatt 
bought the 4,000 acres remaining in the northwest part of Stark and the southern part 
of Little Falls. In 1787 theNobleborough tract was patented to Arthur Noble and 
comprised 41,000 acres, lying at the angle in the southeastern line of Wilmurt ; and in 
the same year 48,000 acres southwest of the above, bounded on the south by West 
Canada Creek, were purchased by Henry Remsen and three others. In 1792 the State 
granted to Alexander Macomb an immense tract of land in the great northern wilder- 
ness at a nominal price, of which the John Brown and the Watson tracts are parts. 
The Guy Johnson tract was conveyed by Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, Jacob G. Klock, 
and Henry Oathoudt, commissioners of forfeitures of the western district of New York 
to Benjamin Tallmadge, major in the array of the United States, June 7, 1784, and by 
Tallmadge to Caleb Brewster, July 9, 1794. Matthew Adgate in 1798 patented 4.3,907 
acres now in the southern part of Wilmurt. The latest patent in the county was for 
13,080 acres of the Moose River tract granted to Anson Blake in 1847. 

The titles of the Indians to lands in the Mohawk valley, as well as those of the white 
settlers who adhered to the crown in the Revolution, were destroyed by that event, 
through the Attainder Act of 1770. 

The Attainder Act of 1779 embraced fifty-nine persons, three of whom 
were married females, and they were also declared convicted and at- 
tainted with their husbands of offenses against the act. This manner of 
procedure was warranted by the fact that many women were in posses- 


sionin their own right of large tracts of land. The Legislature passed an 
act on the I2th of May, 1784, directing the prompt sale of confiscated 
and forfeited estates, requiring the proceeds to be applied to the sinking 
and discharging of public securities created for prosecuting the war. 
This was the first step taken to dispose of these estates, and the functions 
of the commissioners ceased in 1788. The act of 1784 designated the 
kind of money and certificates or bills of credit issued by the State, which 
might be received in payment for lands sold. In the course of the trans- 
actions thus effected there ensued a heavy depreciation of public securi- 
ties, which was severely felt by the people who were forced to accept 
them from the government. The purchasers of the public domain, how- 
ever, were in no respect losers by their operations. Having purchased 
these securities at the current specie market price, or at the sum fixed 
by the continental scale of depreciation, they exchanged them in most in- 
stances for some of the best lands in the State, at a price per acre a little 
more than nominal, and thus accumulated large fortunes for themselves 
and their descendants. The titles were, moreover, guaranteed in all re- 
spects by the State. 

The commissioners of forfeiture of the western district of the State sold 
and deeded between September, 1784, and September, 1788, ninety- 
three lots in the first allotment of the Royal Grant; ninety-one in the 
second allotment; 130 in the third allotment; and 137 in the fourth 
allotment. This proceeding on the part of the State was founded on the 
attainder of Sir John Johnson, by the act of 1779. 

The map made by Lawrence Vrooman in 1797, and reproduced here- 
with, shows that Sir William Johnson gave by his will to six of his 
natural children by Molly Brant (or Brandt), 15,000 acres of this grant 
as follows: To Margaret, 2,000 acres; George, 3,000; Mary, 2,000; 
Susan, 3,000; Ann, 3,000; Brandt, 1,000; and to William 1,000. The 
portion of this tract thus devised adjoins the East Canada Creek, and is 
in the present towns of Manheim and Salisbury. The lots as numbered 
on the map are: 166 in the first allotment ; 102 in the second ; 136 in 
the third; and 143 in the fourth. These are the highest numbers, but 
in several instances intervening numbers below are not found. ^ 

' The late Samuel Earl left among his historical memoranda the following : " As Mary Brant and 
her eight children, Peter, Elizabeth, Magdalene, Margaret. George, Mary, Susanna, and Anne, and 
young Brant Kaghnectayo of Canajoharie, and William Tagawinente of C^najoharie, were inca- 


A specific half of eighteen lots in Jerseyfield patent was also sold 
and deeded by the commissioners of forfeitures, within the periods above 
mentioned. The original patentees of this large tract were mostly of 
the Dutch extraction, not German, and residents in Albany, Schenecta- 
dy and the lower Mohawk valley. None of these names appears in the 
Attainder Act of 1 779. Some party, known to be obnoxious to the pen- 
alties of the act, must have been proceeded against by indictment for 
treason against the State, and the lands declared forfeited on inquisition 
found. The whole of five lots and a specified half of four others in Liv- 
ingston's patent were also sold and conveyed by the commissioners. 
Peter De Bois, who was attainted by the act of October 22, 1779, was 
one of the patentees of this grant, and the sales probably covered his 
interest, or what remained of it, in the whole patent. 

A part of Glen's purchase seems to have been owned by some one ob- 
noxious to the law of attainder. James De Lancey was one of the three 
joint patentees of several lots in this purchase. He was attainted by the 
act of 1779. (See chapter 25, of the Laws of 1779). Six small lots in that 
tract were sold and deeded for ;^i,095. New York currency, on the 27th 
of August, 1788, to replenish an exhausted treasury. James Caldwell 
purchased five of the lots and Michael Myers one of them. Johan Jurgh 
Kast's little patent of 1,100 acres in Schuyler contributed $500 to pay 
war expenses. One lot in that patent seems to have been sold to make 
compensation for treason against the State. " Surely none of the de- 
scendants of that sturdy old Palatine could have been recreant to his 
country and a traitor to humanity." ^ 

A portion of the Bayard patent is held under title from the commission- 
ers of forfeitures, two of the Bayards having been attainted by the act of 
of 1779. In regard to the Johan Joost Herkimer property, Judge Ben- 
ton wrote as follows: 

Diligent search and examination has been made in the proper quarter to find some 
evidence of grants under the authority of the State, of the Johan Joost Herkimer prop- 

pable of taking' and holding lands by reason of their being Indians, the several devises in the will 
of Sir William Johnson lo them were inoperative and void, and the lands and estate devised to 
them respectively upon the death of Sir William, descended to and became vested in Sir John 
Johnson as heir at law, and by his attainder became vested in the State as a portion of his inherit- 
ance. No tribunal competent to determine the law as it was at the death of Sir William or the 
attainder of Sir John has decided anything contrary to or in conflict with the foregoing prop- 

2 Benton's " History of Herkimer County." 


erty, but without success. Some part of the Herkimer property came into the hands 
of Alexander Ellice, soon after the Revolution. The time has not been ascer- 
tained by the writer, nor has he been able to lay his hand upon any papers showing 
the title to have come from the State. This, however, must be so, for Mr. Ellice, be- 
ing a British subject, would not have been allowed to hold forfeited lands except by a 
grant from the State.' 

In respect to that part of the Royal Grant, devised by Sir William to his Indian 
children, the sale by the commissioners could not be sustained, and consequently was 
abandoned in regard to some of them, who had not committed any overt act of treason 
or offense against the statute. One of these children, however, did bear arms against 
the colonies, and may have been proceeded against under the Attainder Act, by indict- 
ment. The present titles of a portion of the grant are therefore derived from Sir \\ illiam's 
will, through his Indian children, but all the remainder, which passed to Sir John John- 
son, as heirs at law, is held under the State by virtue of his attainder. 

Natural Characteristics. — Tlie surface of Herkimer county may be 
called a hilly upland, with a series of ridges extending in a generally north 
and south direction. The beautiful Mohawk River flows easterly across 
the southerly part of the county, through a valley that is broad from its 
westerly end to near Little Falls at the easterly side of the county, 
where the stream breaks through a mountainous ridge, the naked rocks 
rising on either side from 500 to 600 feet. From this point to the eastern 
boundary of the county the river flows through a valley bordered by 
high and precipitous hills. The East Canada Creek rises in Hamilton 
county, flows southward and empties into the Mohawk; it forms the 
eastern boundary of the county from the Mohawk to the northeast cor- 
ner of the Royal Grant. The West Canada Creek rises in the northern 
part of the county and in Hamilton county, flows southwesterly and 
discharges into the Mohawk near the village of Herkimer ; part of it 
forms the boundary between Herkimer and Oneida counties. The 
Moose, Black and Beaver Rivers, which flow northward to Lake Onta- 
rio, have their sources in the northerly part of the county, where numer- 
ous lakes and ponds of pure water are found, many of them still in the 
forest fastnesses of a large region that has been left almost wholly in 
its native state, the surface and soil rendering it of little value for culti- 

The geological features of the county are of considerable interest. 
The portion of the territory lying north of a line extending west from 

' For further reference to titled and leases from Ellice. see subsequent history and maps ot Little 


Brockett's Bridge (now Dolgeville) is covered with primary rocks — 
granite, gneiss, feldspar, and hornblende. The same formation out- 
crops also at Little F"alls. Rising successively above the primary are 
the Trenton limestone, appearing in Norway and Russia, the Utica 
slate, appearing upon the summit of all the hills immediately north of 
the Mohawk ; the Frankfort slate appearing immediately south of the 
river; the Oneida conglomerate and Clinton group, extending in a belt 
through near the center of the south half of the county; the Onondaga 
salt group, waterlime, Onondaga and corniferous limestones, appearing 
in thin layers next south ; and the Marcellus shales and limestones of 
the Helderberg range, covering the summits of the southern hills. These 
rocks yield an abundance of lime, waterlime, and building material, and 
are extensively quarried. Useful minerals are few in number, among 
them being beautiful crystals of quartz. The soil of the county is 
diversified, comprising sandy and argillaceous loams, based on limestone, 
sandstone and primitive granite gneiss; calcareous loam, sandy and 
clay loam. Rich alluvial flats are found in the Mohawk valley, that are 
as productive, perhaps, as any lands in the State. The soil north of the 
Royal Grant is light and sandy, better adapted to grazing than to tillage. 

In the early history of the count)' the lands were tilled and the pro- 
ductions comprised wheat, corn, rye, barley, peas, bea'ns, oats, hay and 
potatoes. Wheat and barley constituted the chief articles of export to 
the Albany market. With the opening of the Erie canal in 1825, the 
heavy grain producing section in the western part of the State became 
a rival against which the Mohawk valley could not successfully contend. 
Between 1820 and 1830 the prospects of the Herkimer county agricul- 
turist were not encouraging. Insects destroyed the wheat year after 
year, and it has been stated that in 1820, " if all the personal or mova- 
ble property in the county had been sold at a fair appraisal, it would 
not have produced sufficient means to pay the domestic debt of the 
county, and probably not more than half of it. After the opening of 
the canal, the attention of the community was gradually turned toward 
grazing and the dairy, and for many years past the latter interest has 
given the county a national reputation. The dairy products of the 
county will be further alluded to in subsequent town histories. 

The lumber interest of the county was extensive in former years, and 
is still carried on with success in its northern parts. 




ONE hundred and seventy years ago, when the sturdy German emi- 
grants, fleeing from their native country on the Rhine to escape a 
cruel vassalage, planted themselves in the wilderness within and around the 
territory of which this volume treats, they found it occupied by one of 
the Six Nations of Iroquois Indians — the Mohawks. These nations 
(exclusive of the Tuscaroras, who were practically amalgamated with 
the Oneidas) were established across the territory of the State of New 
York, beginning with the Mohawks on the east, with the Oneidas, On- 
ondagas, Cayugas and Senecas next in the order named. Their central 
council fire was with the Onondagas. But limited as was this country 
wherein these nations had their permanent abiding place, their unexam- 
pled and reckless bravery in war; their statesmanship as demonstrated 
in the system of government devised by them ; their indomitable per- 
severance and unyielding persistence in extending their power, gave 
them practical domination over the greater part of the continent and 
earned for them from one of their admirers the title of " The Romans of 
the New World." The records of the deeds of the Iroquois Indians are 
found upon thousands of pages in words from gifted pens, while their 
personal characteristics and civil and domestic history have no less 
faithful chroniclers. This fact renders it wholly unnecessary to attempt 
in these pages more than a simple statement of their occupancy of the 
soil, to be followed with the history of their relations with the white 
settlers of the county. 

Through the settlement of the French in what is now Canada early 
in the sixteenth century; the nearly simultaneous establishment of the 
Dutch in the vicinity of the Hudson river, and the subsequent domina- 
tion of the English, a long series of bloody wars was inaugurated, which 
did not cease until the final extinction of French power in 1763. There 
was strife from the beginning to gain the fealty of the Indians. They 


were not onl\' extremely useful as fighters in the service of either power, 
but their friendship was equally desirable for purposes of trade. Of 
course they were regularly swindled by either party toward which they 
leaned. As far as the Mohawks were concerned they were always on 
terms of amity with the Knglish. The influence of Sir William John- 
son over them was boundless, and at his death the)' transferred their 
affections to his family, a fact which was the cause of untold woe to 
the colonists in after years.^ King Hendrick, as he was called, was a 
celebrated Mohawk chief who was at the height of his power when the 
Mohawk valley was opened for settlement. He was an intimate 
friend of Sir William Johnson ; adopted and wore the English costume, 
and never faltered in his allegiance to that nation. He resided much 
of the time at the upper Mohawk castle in what is now the town of 
Danube. He was killed at Lake George, September 8, 1755. 

To the religious wars that swept over Europe early in the seventeenth 
century may be directly attributed the emigration from Germany 
which ultimately led to the first permanent settlement of the upper Mo- 
hawk valley by white people. Germany was a battlefield of religious 
war for nearly a hundred years. The peasantry generally embraced 
the doctrines of the Reformation, in which they received the sj-mpathy 
of Protestant Englishmen. The affinity existing between the sovereigns 
of England and the German Palatinate, led to the application bj' the 
suffering Germans to Queen Anne, in 1708, to send the Palatines to 
her then colony of New York. To escape from what they would not 

' ^' . -. ,■ twenty-three was sent to the 

M"- -le. who was a British admiral. 

Tht ssful in their cnltivation. sale. 

sto' r .^^Ti-!, : r; ,-,: hc became connected with tv 

riir ' permanently in the Mohawk vallej'. and applip 

him .Mininjr the friendship and confidence of the fu 

iliai It I '.1111 Ml. St. me mansion which he called Fort Johnson, and 

wh' W.1S entrusted with the sole management of the Indian 

mill v.'ellerit service. He was appointed a colonel in the British 

■ •"" colonial troops and the Indian warriors, the 

nm devastation by the French and their allies. 

ct. Joseph Brant, which gave him additional 

: —'-.- under appointment as major-g-eneral, he led the 

:tnd was rewarded by a baronetcy and 5,000 pounds from 

' 'nccat Fort Johnson in the eastern part of Montprom- 

'■ -moved to Johnstown, where he built his stately 

^:e nth of July, 7774- His remains were buried 

''torred while repairs to a church were being 

.. ,.w i.i. ■■■■'• "■"■ 'tincf place. 


endure in their own country, they fled to another where their religious 
faith might be cultivated and enjoyed free from persecution. 

On the loth of May, 1708, Joshua Kockerthal, a minister, with forty 
others from the Lower Palatinate in Germany, reached England. They 
were in a condition of destitution. The English Lords of Trade 
vouched for their good character and " humbly proposed " that they 
" be sent to settle upon Hudson's River, in the province of New York, 
where they may be useful to this kingdom, particularly in the produc- 
tion of naval stores, and as a frontier against the French and their In- 
dians." On the lOth of August following the provincial governor was 
directed to provide subsistence for Joshua Kockerthal and forty- two 
German Protestants, and " to grant him 500 acres of land for a glebe 
with liberty to sell a suitable portion thereof for his better maintenance 
till he shall be able to live by the produce of the remainder." 

These Palatines probably arrived in New York about the close of the 
year 1708, and an order was made in the Provincial Council at New 
York May 26, 1709, to continue the relief promised by the queen until 
the expiration of twelve months from the date of their arrival; this re- 
lief included clothing, mechanical tools and materials to work with. It 
is known that this company, or the greater part of it, settled permanent- 
ly in what is now Ulster county; and, as has often happened in similar 
cases, the emigrants met with much difficulty in securing the promised 
aid from England. The tools were, however, supplied them, as agreed. ^ 

The second immigration of Palatines, and by far the larger in num- 
bers, arrived at New York shortly before June 14, 1 7 10. In the Coun- 
cil, the president (Mr. Beekman) " informed the Board that the ship 
Lyon is arrived in this port, having brought a considerable number of 
Palatines for whom her Majesty has commanded him to Provide Lodg- 
ing and Provisions and desired the Gentlemen of the Councill to give 
their opinions what measures are proper to be taken with them." 
More than 3,000 emigrants came over at this time, and there being con - 

1 The following lists of tools and names of their recipients are interesting : Joshua Kockerthal— 
I Barrel of Lime. 3 Gouches, 2 formers, i Grindingstone, i square, i Rule, i Compass, and several 
pieces more- Hermanns Schuneman— 2 Handsaws, 1 Great Saw, 3 Gouches. 2 Agors. besides several 
pieces more. Michael Wiegand—i, great file, i smaller dito, 1 mortising chisel, i Joynter, i Agor, 
besides several pieces more. Andreas Volk— i Cross Cut Saw, i Smooding plain, i wiping saw, an- 
other set of gouches, besides severall pieces more. Peter Rose — i Glupott. i Whimplingpitts, i 
hatchet, i little hamer, 2 Agors, i Joynter, besides severall pieces more. These lists are continued 
in Doc. Hist. New York, vol. HI, pp. 550-51. 


tagious disease among them, they were quarantined at Nutten Island 
(now Governor's) where they were maintained in liuts at pubhc ex- 
pense.i Many died on the passage over. 

This body of Palatines came over under the special charge of Governor 
Hunter, who had particular directions where to settle them, with the 
view of their aiding in protection against the French and Indians. For 
this purpose the commissioners designated " a tract of land lying on the 
Mohaques river, containing about fifty miles in length, and four miles in 
breadth, and a tract of land lying upon a creek [evidently the Scho- 
harie] which runs into said river, containing between twenty-four and 
thirty miles in length. This last mentioned land is claimed by the Mo- 
haques, but that claim may be satisfied on easy terms." ^ Reference is 
made by the commissioners to the obstruction in the river at Cohoes, 
but they thought that should be but little hindrance. In the spring of 
1710 Hunter ordered the survey of lands on the " Mohaks " river, and 
particularly in the " Skohare to which the Indians had no pretence." 
But owing to the remoteness of the Schoharie lands, and their supposed 
unfitness for agriculture, with the scarcity of pine timber. Hunter finally 
purchased " a tract of land on Hudson's river from Mr. [Robert] Liv- 
ingston, consisting of 6,000 acres, for ;^400 of this country money, for 
planting of the greatest division of the Palatines." He also informed 
the Board of Trade that he had found an ungranted tract near by on the 
west side of the river where he had planted the remainder of the Pala- 
tines, or intended to do so soon. On the i6th of June, 1710, in prob- 
able anticipation of what would naturally occur, the Board expressed 
the opinion " that a Proclamation doe Issue to prevent Exactions and 
Extortions in the price of Bread & other Provisions whereby the Pala- 
tines may be the better and easier Provided therewith." The sequel 
justified this measure, for the contractor who supplied flour, etc., cheated 
the poor immigrants in weight ; and they complained bitterly to the 
home government that the conditions under which they came to New 
York were not fulfilled. The number of Palatines on Livingston's man- 

' " It is the opinion of this Hoard thereupon that Nutten Island is the properest place to put the 
Palatines on and that Huts should be made for them." The huts were built by two of the Palatine 
carpenters, Johannes Hebon and Peter Williamse. 

2 The board also designated lands on the " Hudson's river, where are great numbers of Pines, fit 
for Production of Turpentine and Tarr, out of which Rozinand Pitch are made." 


or and on the opposite side of the Hudson river in 171 1 numbered about 

Many Palatine children, some of whom were orphans, were taken un- 
der direction of the governor and bound out as apprentices to the inhab- 
itants of the colony. 1 Some of these afterwards became conspicuous in 
the history of the State. About eighty children were thus apprenticed. 

Among the volunteers who accompanied Colonel Nicholson on his 
expedition to Canada in 1711, are found the names of several that 
afterwards became familiar in the Mohawk valley, as follows : 

Hen. Hoffman, Warner Dirchest, Fred. Bellinger, Hen. Wederwachs, Frantz Finck, 
Martin Dillenback, Jacob Webber, William Nellis, George Dacbstader, Christian Bauch, 
Mich. Ittick, Melch. Folts, Niclaus Loiix, Hartman Windecker, Hans Hen. Zeller, Jno. 
Wm. Finck, Jno. Hen. Arendorff, Johan Schneider, Henry Feling, Job. Jost Petry and 
Lud. W. Schmit. 

Steps were taken at an early day for the inauguration of simple gov- 
ernment among the Palatines, as indicated from the following: 

In Council, 17th June 1710. Mr. Cheife Justice Reported to his Excellency that 
himselfe Mr. Barberie and Mr. Bickley have met on the Reference made to them 
yesterday to consider of a Scheme for the good Governing the Palatines, and haveing 
Considered the same, Proposed that Commissions of the peace and other Commissions 
be Granted to some persons among them for that End and that an Ordinace Issue Im- 
powering to heare and determine Small Causes, all of which his Excellency Referred 
to Mr. Cheife Justice and Mr. Bickley to prepare such Commissions and Ordinaces. 

Dissatisfaction and discontent arose among the Palatines on the Hud- 
son River. It is more than probable that much of this feeling was 
chargeable to Robert Livingston, who had a contract for providing them 
with flour, etc., and was also intimately associated with them in other 
directions, in all of which he made the most of his situation for his 
personal gain. In a letter written in March, 171 1, by a meinber of the 
British government to one of his colleagues, the writer says: 

I think it unhappy that Colo. Hunter at his first arrival in his government fell into 
ill hands, for this Livingston has been known many years in that province for a very ill 

1 In Cotincil, June 20, 1710 : There haveing beene severall Proposalls made for the takeing many 
of the Palatine Children for a terme of Yeares and there being many Orphans who are unable to 
take care of themselves to work, and many who by sickness are rendered incapable of doeing any 
service for some time and in that condition would be a great expence ^nd there being noe Prospect 
of Settleing them this sumer by reason its soe much advanced His Excellency does appoint Doctor 
Staats and Mr. Van Dam or either of them to take such Proposalls for Placeing out the Orphans 
and other Children whose Parents have a numerous ffamily Entring into an Instrument in Write- 
ing to Cloath Victuall and use them well and to deliver them to the government when called for.— 
Doc. Hist. New York, vol. Ill, p. 553. 


man, he formerly victualled the forces at Albany, in which he was guilty of most noto- 
rious frauds by which he greatly improved his estate; he has a mill and a brew-house 
upon his land, and if he can get the victualling of those Palatines who are conveniently 
posted for his purpose, he will make a very good addition to his estate, and I am per- 
suaded the hopes he had of such a subsistance to be allowed, were the chief, if not the 
only inducements that prevailed with him to propose to Colo. Hunter to settle them 
upon his land. 

The charitable view of Hunter's conduct is that he was a dupe of 

On the 30th of May, 171 1, the colonial secretary informed the Board 
of Trade that the Palatines would not work at tar and turpentine- making 
on the Hudson River lands where they had been seated, but were deter- 
mined to remove to the Schoharie lands where the queen had ordered 
them. We may be sure that there was very good reason for this action 
on their part. They were not people who would have become discon- 
tented if they had been honorably treated. That they were poorly fed, 
clothed and housed, cheated in trade, and forced into kinds of work 
which were distasteful to them, is well known. In reply to a question 
as to the behavior of his people, Mr. Kockerthal said : " They are all 
at work and busy, but manifestly with repugnance and merely tempo- 
rarily ; that the tract intended for them [the Schoharie and Mohawk 
lands] is in their minds a land of Canaan. • » * They will not listen 
to tar-making." 

In the autumn of 17*1 Governor Hunter warned the Palatines to 
" take measures to subsist themselves " during the following winter. 
Thereupon immediate action was begun for removal to the Schoharie 
lands. Their own account says : " All hands fell to work and in 2 weeks 
time clear'd a way thro' the woods of 15 miles long with the utmost 
toyle and labour, tho' almost starved and without bread." Fifty families 
reached the Schoharie district, only to learn that the lands had been 
granted to people in Albany, and to be warned not to settle thereon by 
the governor. The governor, however, " prevailed with the proprietors 
of these lands to make an offer of the lands free from all rent or acknowl- 
edgment for ten years, and ever after at a very moderate quit rent." 

Governor Burnet succeeded Governor Hunter in 1720. Among his 
instructions from the home government were express directions to re- 
move such of the Palatines as might desire, from their first settlements 





to lands more suitable for them. This action was doubtless precipitated 
by a strong memorial from the commissioners of the Palatines at Scho- 
harie, which was taken to England in 1718, and the instructions above 
noted were issued within the next sixteen days. 

In October, 1722, a third company of Palatines arrived in New York 
from Holland, having touched at England on the passage. In the fol- 
lowing year a large exodus of the Schoharie Palatines took place to Penn- 
sj'lvania and other localities, in consequence of the Albany ownership 
of Schoharie lands, above alluded to. The arrival of the third company 
from Holland in 1722, and this exodus in 1723, will enable us, as nearly 
as may be, to fix the date of the first settlement of the Palatines at Ger- 
man Flats. On this important point we shall quote from the late Judge 
Benton's work, wherein he shows the result of careful and exhaustive 
research : 

On the 21st of November, 1722, Governor Burnet informeJ the Board of Trade, elc, 
that he had expected when he was at Albany, to have fixed the Palatines in their new 
settlement which he had obtained of the Indians for them at a very easy purchase, but 
in consequence of the divisions among them, and their complaints about the quaHty of 
the lands in the new purchase, he concluded not to show any earnestness in pressing 
them logo on to the lands. But he says there tvere about sixty families who desired 
to have a distinct tract by themselves, and being those who had all along been most 
hearty for the government, he had given them leave to purchase lands from the Indians 
between the English settlements near Fort Hunter and part of Canada, on a creek 
called Canada Creek, where they will be more immediately a barrier against the sudden 
incursions of the French, who made this their road when they last attacked and burned 
the frontier town called " Schonectady ." The Indian deed for the lands at and west of 
Little Falls, covered in part by the so called Burnetsfield patent, is dated July 9, 1722, 
anterior to the arrival of the third company of Palatine immigrants, and this fact forces 
the conclusion that the grantees of the patent were composed chiefly, if not entirely of 
those Palatines who arrived in 1710, and were first .'eated on the Hudson River; and 
this view seems to be strengthened by Governor Burnet's remarks to the Board of 
Trade. It is quite certain that but few, if any, of the Schoharie people were among 
the first settlers of the German b^lats, unless they straggled from below. But there is 
no such name as Erghemar, Herkemer or Herkimer in the lists of those who came over 
in the two first companies of immigrants, nor apparently any name from which Herki- 
mer could be derived or coined without violating all known rules of etymology. The 
Erghemar family were not among the Palatines on Hudson River in 1711, nor of those 
who remained in New York. They probably arrived with the third company of im- 
migrants in 1722, from Holland, where they had sojourned many years. 

At what time these people actually settled upon the lands patented to them by the 
crown, in the spring of 1725, is perhaps problematical, and rests in tradition. They 


were very urgent to remove to a part of the country vehere they could pursue their 
vocations and indulge in their own peculiar customs, unmolested by strangers and un- 
controlled by colonial task masters; where the lands they tilled were secured to them 
(}y all the sanctions of a public grant emanating from the king. They had long felt and 
known that " patience and hope make fools of tliose who fill their hands with them." 
They and their ancestors for three-quarters of a century nearly, had been afflicted with 
all the worldly evils and miseries that an intolerant and tyrannical hierarchy, .supported 
by absolute despotic governments, could bring upon them ; and they had looked to the 
future with patient and hopeful emotions for a day of deliverance. After twelve years 
of trial and privation incident to a new climate and a wilderness country, during which 
time they saw that strangers, and not their families after them, were to be benefited by 
their labors (no lands had yet been set out to them, by grant from the crown), well might 
they exclaim that those who endure patiently present wrongs and take no means of 
relief only to hope for it, were unwise and improvident. 

The Dutch recaptured New York in 1673, but it was restored to the English by treaty 
in 1674. At this time and to the close of the seventeenth century, a very great ma- 
jority of the people of the province were Low Dutch or Hollanders, and the French of 
Canada exerted much interest with all the Iroquois Indians, through the agency of the 
Jesuits and the control of the fur trade, except the Maquae-s, Mohocks or Mohawks. 
The whole country from Albany north to Lake Cbamplain, and from Schenectady west 
to Lakes Ontario and Erie was an unbroken wilderness, and it was therefore important 
that England should strengthen her colony of New York in both directions by planting 
.settlements as barriers against hostile approaches, but she had no people to spare; the 
<;ontinental wars in which she had been long engaged and was then involved, more than 
liecimated her population, and she eagerly embraced the opportunity of sending over 
the Palatines at the public expense. Governor Burnet, whose talents, learning and 
kindness commended him to the well disposed colonists, seconded this policy of his 
Ljovernment with zeal and success. Little did the governor or the home government 
then believe they were planting a barrier of stout hearts and sinewy arms on this 
frontier, which was soon to aid in obstructing the designs of the mother country in one 
of her most deliberate and best planned campaigns of the Revolution. Nor could these 
then houieless exiles put aside the curtain of futurity and behold the terrific and tragic 
scenes which were so effectively and relentlessly enacted upon the soil they had chosen 
for their homes, and by the power through whose agency they had obtained their 
promised land. 

The precise time when the Palatines made their first lodgment in the county is not 
ascertained. It was not later than 1725. Some who have speculated upon the subject 
suppose they came up the Mohawk valley as far as the Little Falls and to the Stone 
Ridge as early as the year 1720. Their agents, sent to spy out the lands, may have 
traversed the valley to the western bounds of the territory claimed by the Mohawk 
Indians as early as 1720, and perhaps before that period ; but Governor Burnet had not 
fixed them in the new settlement he had obtained for them of the Indians, at a very 
easy purchase, as late as November, 1722, and he that year permitted some of them to 
purchase lands of the Indians " on a creek called Canada Creek." They secured the 
carrying place at the lesser falls as well as a long extent of wilderness country above, 


by their Indian deed; and the license of the colonial governraent to make the purchase 
may have been considered by both parties an authorization tor them to remove before 
the patent was made out, as it no doubt was a solemn, irrevocable public pledge that 
the lands would be granted by the crown as soon as they should be surveyed. On 
this hypothesis it may be conjectured that settlements were made at or near the present 
site of the Stone Church in the town of German Flats, and at Herkimer village as early 
as the years 1723-24, if not before. Owning the lands at the carrying place, it is not 
likely that point was long neglected or unimproved. 

Burnetsfield patent, so called in popular parlance, is a curious document, and well 
worthy of some special notice. It was granted on the 30th of April, 1725. It recites 
that " whereas our loving subjects, John Joost Petri and Coenradt Rickert, in behalf of 
themselves and other distressed Palatines, by their humble petition presented the 17th 
day of January, 1722, toour trusty and well beloved William Burnet, Esq., Captain 
General and Governor-in-chief of the province of New York, in council have set forth 
that in " accordance with the governor's license they had purchased " of the native 
Indians in the Mohawks country" the tract of land on both sides of the "Mohawks 
river" commencing at the "first carrying place [Little Falls], being the eastermost 
bounds called by the natives Astourogon, running along on both sides of the said river 
westerly unto a place called Ganondagaraon, or the upper end of it," being " about 
twenty-four English miles along on both sides of the said river. ' The Indian deed is 
dated July 9, 1722. That the council advised the governor to "grant to each of the 
said persons, man, woman and child, as are desirous to settle within the limits of the 
said tract of land the quantity of 100 acres." 

The grantees were to hold the lands of the crown " in free and common socage, that 
being the usual tenure named in the colonial grants at this time, as of the manor of East 
Greenwich, in the county of Kent, in Great Britain, subject to an annual quit-rent of 
two shillings and sixpence per hundred acres, and on condition that the grantees, their 
heirs and a.ssigns, should within three years from the date, plant, settle and effectually 
cultivate at least three acres of land of every fifty acres " granted to them. This patent 
also contains the usual reservation of gold and silver mines.Jtimber fit for the royal navy, 
and the right to enter upon the lands and take and carry away the same. 

Of the ninety-two persons named in the patent to whom lands were granted, twenty- 
two appear to be females, by the description, married, single or widowed. The paper 
does not disclose the number of families or the heads of families represented by males 
who settled on the tract, or how many one hundred acre lots went to any one family, 
husband, wife and children. There are several Pellingers, Starings, Wevers, Smiths, 
Edicks, Beermans, to whom grants were made. Jurgh Erghemar, Johan Jost, Mada- 
lana and Catharina Erghemar are separately named, but Nicholas Herkimer, afterwards 
the General, was not a patentee. 

The following table gives the names of the original patentees, the 
number of the lots taken by each, and their location. Many of the 
names will be familiar as still belonging to their descendants in the 
county, while many of them have been so changed in their orthography 
as to be scarcely recognizable : 




r- Beerman, Mary, 

a. Beerman, Johannes/-- - 
3- Same 

4. Bowman, Jacob,.. 

5. Bowman, Johan Adam,. 


6. Dacksteder, Anna, wife of Jurgh Dacksteder,. 

7. Dacksteder, Jurgli,_ 


8. Edich, Elizabeth, 

9. Edigh, Johan Michael,. 

10. Edich, Jacob, 

11. Editch, Michael, 

12. Er^hemar, Jurgh, 

13. Erghemar, John Jost,.. 

14. Erghemar, Madalana,.. 

15. Erghemar, Catharina.-. 

16. Feller Nicholas, 


17. Feller, Mary, wife of Nicholas Feller,- 

18. Felmore, Coenradt,__. 

ig. Felmore, Chri.stiana, 

20. Fols. Jacob, 

21. Fols. Melgert, 


22. Fox. Christopher, 

Heger, Henry. 

Helmer, Elizabeth, wife ofLendert Helmer,, 

Helmer, Philip. 

Helmer, Johan Adam, 

Same, _ .__ 

Helmer, Frederick, 

Helmer, Anna Margaret. i 

Herter, Apolone, 

Herter. Lowrens, _. 

Hess. Augustines, 

Hoss, Johannes, _. 

ife of John Adam Helmer 


^4. Keslaer, Johannes, _. 

35. Keslaer, Nicholas, 

^6. Kast. Johan Jurgh, jr., 


37. Kast, Johan Jurgh, 


"iS. Koons, Mary Catharine, widow, 

Same _ 

3(). Korsing, Rudolph, 

40. Korsing, Belia, wife of Rudolph Korsing.. 

41. Koues, Lodowick, 

43. Mayor, Hendrik,.. 

44. Mayor, Anna, 

45. Miller, Johannes.. 



I South 

At the Little Falls. 

All the 30 acre lots were 
set on what were call- 
ed the Great Flats, in 
and near the present 
village of Herkimer. 
The 70 acre lots are 
described in the patent 
as wood land. 

Mohawk Village. 

And large island in 

Mohawk Valley. 

At the Little Falls 

Near Rankin's Lock. 

I South Opposite Great Flats. 

* l\vo lots of same number to Johannes Beerman. 




48. Pears, Catharine, 

4g, Pears, Lodowick, ;__ _ 

50. Pell, Frederick, 

51. Pell, Anna Mary, 

52. PelUnger, Johannes, 

Same, ,. 

53. Pellinger, Peter, 


54. Pellinger, Margaret, wife of Johannes Pellinger,. 

55. Pellinger, Frederick, 

56. Pellinger, Margaret, wife of Johannes Pellinger,., 

57. Petri, Johan Joost, 

Same, __ 

58. Petri, Gurtruydt, wife of Johan Joost Petri, 

Sg. Petri, Mark. _._ 

60. Pouradt, Johannes 

61. Poenradt, Gurtruydt, wife of Johannes Poenradt,. 


62. Reelle, Godfrey, 


63. Reele, Godfrey, jr.,*. 

64. Reele, Godfrey, 

65. Rickert, Lodowick.. 

66. Rickert, Catharine,-. 

■67. Rickert. Conradt, 

68. Rickert, Mark 

. Shoemaker, Rudolph, 

. Shoemaker, Thomas,- 


. Smith, Adam Michael, 

Same, __. 

. Smith, Johan Jurgh, 


. Smith, Ephraim, 

. Smith, Marte, 

. Speis, Peter,-- _. 

, Speis. Elizabeth, wife of PeterSpeis, 

, Spoon, Hendrik _ 

, Spo .n, Hendrik, jr., --- 

, Staring, Mary Eva, wife of John Adam Staring,. 
. Staring, John Adam, 

Staring, Frederick, _ 

Same, __. 

. Staring, Johannes Velden, 

, Staring, Nicholas, 

Staring. Joseph, 

Staring, John Velde, jr., 

86. Temouth, John Jost,. 

87. Temouth, Fredrigh,.. 

Same, - 

88. Veldelent, John,- 
Same, -_ -_ 

8g. Veldelent, Anna, 

90. Wever, Jacob, 


QT. Wever, Nicholas, 


92. Wever, Andries, 

93. Wever, Jacob, jr., 

94. Welleven, Nicholas, - 


Opposite Great Flats. 
And )^ of an island. 
On east side of West Can- 
Same, [ada Creek. 

Near Mohawk Village. 

Stone Ridge, Herkimer 

Nori:h Capt. Peter Klock. 



Ilion Village. 

Ilion Village. 

At the Little Falls. 
And X of an island. 

At Little Falls. 

Ft. Herkimer, Stone Ch. 

Same lot to Godfrey Reele and Godfrey Reele, jr 



In the Burnetsfield patent 
there were forty-six lots on 
each side of the river. Those 
embracing the villages of Ilion 
and Mohawk and the inter- 
vening ground were of uni- 
form shape and size. Lots 
24 south and 27 and 28 north 
of the Mohawk, were partly 
composed of islands in the 
stream. The broad river bot- 
toms about the site of Herki- 
mer were naturally a coveted 
portion of the patent ; and to 
give as many as possible of 
the grantees a share in this 
choice land, it was not appor- 
tioned among a few in 100- 
acre lots, but was divided as a 
rule into lots of thirty acres 
each, and the recipients of 
these completed their allot- 
ments by taking 70-acre lots 
(of the same number) of the 
higher wooded ground back 
of the river. The 30-acre lots 
covered the site of Herkimer 
(except one 86- acre piece) 
and all the vicinity in the an- 
gle of the river and West 
Canada Creek, back to a line 
passing from the river to the 
creek a little northwest of the 
village ; while from this line 
the corresponding 70-acie lots 
stretched away in a block 


northwestwardly for about two miles and a quarter. These large lots 
ran the whole length of this block, while they were only sixteen rods in 
width, the object being to give each of them an end toward the flats 
and as close communication as possible with the low lot belonging to 
the same proprietor. (The accompanying plan shows the divisions of 
these lots). 

The act of confirmation, January 17, 1723, required that the names 
and number of all the persons to be concerned in the grant should be 
certified to the surveyor-general before the survey was made, and as 
appears by the patent issued, there were only thirty- nine families and 
ninety-four persons reported. 

The Burnetsfield patent was dated April 30, 1725, about two years 
after the first Palatine settlements in this vicinity. The Burnetsfield 
grantees held their land subject to a quit- rent of two shillings and six- 
pence per hundred acres, and were bound to cultivate within three years 
at least three acres of every fifty given them. " For a long time after the 
Palatines came to this valley," said Samuel Earl in a historical address, 
" the heart of their settlement was where the old stone church stands 
[Fort Herkimer]. Here came the Schoharie Palatines, to the number 
of thirty families and upwards, in the spring of 1723, and then began 
the first settlement in this county." 

While the impartial reader of this day will readily accord the pre- 
sumption that the offer by the queen of a haven to the persecuted Ger- 
mans was a boon of the highest importance, we cannot shut our eyes to 
the selfishness and injustice of the government and its unprincipled agents 
who, at the same time, sought to profit through the necessities of the 
immigrants and to set them up on the frontier as probable targets for 
the French insurgents. 

It was not until 1724, long after Governor Burnet's arrival, that the 
6,000 acres purchased of Mr. Livingston fourteen years earlier was se- 
cured to the Palatines by patent. This gave each of the families a 
liberal domain; each of the sixty-three heads of families took what he 
had held and improved, while the remainder of the tract was left in 

At one time Governor Burnet contemplated removing the whole of 
the German population then under his government to the center of the 


State, as indicated in his letter of October i6, 1721, to the Lords of 
Trade, wherein he says : " I did intend to settle the Palatines as 
far as I could in the middle of our Indians, but finding they could not 
be brought to that, I have granted their own request which was to have 
a license to purchase of the nearest Indians, which are on the Mohocks, 
which I have granted them with this condition, that they be not nearer 
than 2. fall in the Mohocks River, which is forty miles from Fort Hunter, 
and four score from Albany, by which the frontier will be so much ex- 
tended, and those people seem very well pleased and satisfied with what 
I have done." In his letter of November 21, 1722, he says: "As 
about sixty families desired to be in a distinct tract from the rest," he 
gave them leave to purchase from the Indians on the Canada Creek, 
where they would be more immediately a barrier against the sudden 
incursions of the French. 



THE time came soon enough when the peaceful German settlers of 
the upper Mohawk valley were called upon to " stand as a frontier 
against the French and their Indians." After about thirty-five years of 
prosperous peace, during which their farms had been cleared, buildings 
erected, stock and crops raised and defenses established, the shock of 
the French and Indian war, as it is known, came upon them in Novem- 
ber, 1757. The English fort at Oswego and the small fortifications on 
Wood Creek and the upper Mohawk had been captured in the previous 
year; and on the 12th of November, 1757, a force of about three hun- 
dred marines, Canadians and Indians, under command of M. De 
Belletre, traversed the wilderness by way of Black River, and attacked 
and destroyed the Palatine settlements on the north side of the Mohawk 
at or near the present village of Herkimer. The attack was a surprise 
and resulted in a cold-blooded massacre, which is described as follows in 
the bombastic style of the French narrator : 


"On the 11th of November, at three o'clock in the forenoon, M. de Belletre, pre- 
ceded as was his custom by scouts, crossed the river Corlaer [Mohawk] with his de- 
tachment, partly swimming, partly in water up to the neck. He encamped at night- 
fall in the woods a league and a half from the Hrst of the five forts that covered the 
Palatine settlements. 

"The l'2th, at three o'clock in the morning, he gave his detachment the order of 
march and attack so as to surround the said five forts and the entire Palatine village, 
consisting of sixty houses. 

" Though M. de Belletre knew that the English got notice the day preceding, yet 
that the courage of the Indians may not receive the least check, and to show them that 
he would not rashly expose them, he liberated an Indian of the Five Nations, whom he 
had until then detained under suspicion. But this savage could not injure M. de 
Belletre, because he commenced at the same time to attack the five forts and the Pala- 
tines' houses. 

" At sight of the first fort he decided to take it by assault. The enemj' kept up a 
most active fire of musketry, but the intrepidity with which M. de Belletre, and all the 
officers and Canadians of his detachment advanced, coupled with the war whoop of the 
Indians, terrified the English to the degree that the mayor of the village of the Pala- 
tines, who commanded the said fort, opened the doors and asked for quarters. 

" M. de Belletre lost no time in repairing to the second, the third, the fourth and 
fifth, which were not less intimidated than the first, by his intrepidity and the cries of 
the Indians. They all surrendered at discretion and were entirely burnt. 

" During this time a party of Canadians and Indians ravaged and burnt the said sixty 
houses of the Palatines, their barns and other out buildings, as well as the water mill. 

" In all these expeditions about forty English perished — killed or drowned. The 
number of prisoners is nearly one hundred and fifty men, women and children, among 
whom is the mayor of the village, the surgeon and some militia officers. We had not 
a man killed ; but M. de Lorimer, officer, was wounded in the right side by a ball, and 
three or four savages slightly. 

'' The damage inflicted on the enemy is estimated according to the representations 
of the English themselves, to wit: 

•' In grain, of all sorts, a much larger quantity than the island of Montreal has pro- 
duced in years of abundance. The same of hogs; 3,000 horned cattle; 3,000 sheep. 
All these articles were to be sent in a few days to Corlaer [Schenectady] ; 1 ,500 horses, 
300 of which were taken by the Indians, and the greater number consumed for the 
support of the detachment. 

" The property in furniture, wearing apparel, merchandise and liquor might form a 
capital of 1,500,000 livres [$277,500]. The mayor of the village alone has lost 400, 
000 [$74,000]. The French and Indians have acquired as rich a booty as they could 
carry off. They have in specie more than 100,000 livres [$18,500]. One Indian alone 
has as much at 30,000 [$6,550]. There was likewise plundered a quantity of wampum, 
silver bracelets, &c., scarlet cloth and other merchandise, which would form a capital 
of 80,000 more. All this damage could not be done short of forty-eight hours. M. de 
Belletre made provision to be always able to resist the enemy, who as has been ob- 


served were to the numlier of 350 men in the said Fort Koiiari |HerkinieiJ, jdioul a 
quarter of a league from the field of battle." 

Although this account is greatly exaggerated, as was proved subse- 
quently by the narrative of Mr. Daine which was sent to the French 
minister, ' especially in regard to destruction of property, it still tells a 
tale of barbarity most revolting in all its details. The responsibility for 
this disastrous event is in dispute. William L. Stone, the biographer 
of Sir Wilham Johnson, exonerates the baronet from blame, while the 
late Judge Benton throws doubt upon Stone's proofs. It seems almost 
incredible that Sir William Johnson could have connived for this wan- 
ton attack, and no less incredible that he would endeavor to hide his 
duplicity under proofs deliberately manufactured. Sir William had 
long before the assault urged the stationing of a force of rangers at the 
German Flats for scouting purposes. He had characterized the garri- 
sons among the Palatines as being " not only very arrogant and self- 
sufficient," but " of no use in protecting the Germans." His interest 
for the welfare of the Germans seems to have continued down almost 
to the date of the attack. He wrote to the Lords of Trade September 
28, 1757, as follows : 

The Tiiscaroras and Oneidas have not yet made any e.xpress declaration to me ; 
they have promised soon to do it. The latter are divided among themselves, and the 
greater part under the influence of those of their nation whom the French have drawn 
ofT to live at Sweegachie on St. Lawrence river, and at whose scalping parties, which 
molest the German Flats, they do at least connive. 

The evidence of Sir William's honor in the matter rests chiefly upon 
the following : Having been informed that the Indians had not notified 
the Palatines of the enemy's approach until the morning of the attack, 
he sent his dsputy to make inquiry of several Oneida and Tuscarora 
Indians who had assembled at the German Flats why they had not 
given the settlers timely warning. The deputy agent, George Crogin, 
did not arrive at the scene of desolation until the Indians had left for 
home; but at his request they returned. His narrative of what then 
took place states : 

> Governor DeLancy, in mentioning the tlestruction of " a valuable settlement on the north side 
of the Molia\vk*s rivtr, opposite to Fort Hareniger, called the Gerinan Flats," says, " the loss is 
estimated at twenty thousand pounds this money," a large discrepancy from that given by the 
valorous Frenchman.— Hcnton's Herkimer County. 


The aforesaid Indians returned, and on the 30th of ISl ovember [1757], at Fort Harke- 
man, Conaghquieson, the chief Oneida sachem, made the following speech to Mr. Cro- 
ghan, having first called in one Rudolph Shumaker, Hanjost Harkeman and several other 
Germans, who understood the Indian language, and de.'^ired them to sit down and hear 
what he was going to say. Conaghquieson then said : " Brother, I can't help telling 
you that we were very much surprised to hear that our "brethren, the English, suspect 
and charge us with not giving them timely notice of tiie designs of the French, as it is 
well known we have not neglected to give tliem every piece of intelHgence that came 
to our knowledge. 

" Brother : About fifteen days before the afiFair happened, we sent the Germans word 
that some Swegatchi Indians told us the French were determined to destroy the Ger- 
man Flats, and desired them to be on their guard. About six days after that we had 
a further account from the Swegatchi, that the French were preparing to mai-cli. 

" I then oame down to the German Flats, and in a meeting with the German.s, told 
what we had heard, and desired them to collect themselves together in a body at their 
fort, and secure their women, cliildren and efifects, and make the best defense they 
could ; and at the same time told th^i to write what I had said to onr brother War- 
raghiyagey [Meaning Sir William Johiison. The Palatines never sent this intelligence]. 
But they paid not the least regard to what I told them, and laughed at me, saying they 
did not value the enemy. Upon this I returned home and sent one of our people to 
the lake [meaning the Oneida lake] to find out whether the enemy were coming or not; 
and after he had stayed there two days, the enemy arrived at the carrying place, and 
sent word to the castle at the lake, that they were there, and told them what they 
were going to do ; but charged them not to let us at the upper castle know anything of 
their design. As soon as the man I seut there heard this, he came on to us with the 
account that night, and as soon as we received it we sent a belt of wampum to confirm 
the truth thereof, to the Flats, which came here the day before the enemy made their 
attack ; but the people would not give credit to the account even then, or they might 
have saved their lives. This is the truth and those Germans here present know it to 
be so." 

The aforesaid Germans did acknowledge it to he so, and that they had such intelli- 
gence. Gkorgk Croguan. 

The authenticity of this document is doubted by Judge Benton, while 
Mr. Stone gave it credence and at the same time claims to have other 
evidence that the Palatines were promptly and properly warned of the 
impendi<ig attack. Other writers believe that the warning was sent, 
but that it was delivered in such a manner as to weaken its import in 
the minds of the settlers. It is a subject that must be left for the histor- 
ical student to investigate for himself and form his own conclusions. 

Judge Benton sums up the consequences of the deplorable event as 
follows: "These people were then seated on as fertile a spot as any in 
the State, had good buildings on their farms, and. were generally rich. 


Their buildings and crops were destroyed by fire, and their horses, cat- 
tle, sheep and hogs were many of them killed. Some of the people 
were slain by the marauders and nearly one hundred carried into cap- 
tivity. The German minister and a majority of the inhabitants who 
followed him, saved themselves by going to the fort on the south side 
of the river, on the morning of the attack. The enemy burned a grist- 
mill, probably on what is now called Staring's Creek, and a saw mill 
within a few miles of the settlement. There were about twenty houses 
between Fort Kouari (Herkimer) and Fall Hill or Little Falls, on the 
south side of the river at this time, and eight on the north side, w hich 
were abandoned for a time when the settlement at Herkimer was de- 

On the 30th of April, 1758, the Palatines were ag.iin attacked by a 
large party of Indians and a few French, the assault being directed 
against the settlement on the south side of the river, near the fort. Lieu- 
tenant Blair, of the Rangers, was wounded and about thirty of the in- 
habitants were killed. It will be of interest to copy the follouing ac- 
count of this event from the New York Mercury of May 22, 1758: 

About 12 o'clock on Monday, the 30th of April last, an Oneida Indian acquainted 
Captain Herkimer that a party of eighty Indians and four Frenchmen were nigli his fort, 
and would certainly come down and attack the settlements that day, and advised Cap- 
tain Herkimer to go into the fort and take as many of the inhabitants with him as he 
could collect. About 3 o'clock, most part of the inhabitants, having no^ice from Cap- 
lain Herkimer, left their houses and assembled at the fort. Four families that fled from 
Henderson's purchase in the spring for fear of the enemy, could not get in ; and had in 
their houses two Indian traders of the name of Clock, and six wagoners that were 
carrying Captain Gage's baggage to the fort. At 4 o'clock, all of a sudden, the 
were attacked, and the wagoners, being surprised, ran up .stairs, the better to defend 
themselves. The Indians immediately rushed into the, and killed and scalped all 
that were below. Some of the Indians attempted the stairs, but they were knocked 
down by the wagoners. They then fired up through the loft, and soon were joined by 
more Indians, who fired many shots quite through the house, and proposed to set it on 
fire; which intimidated John Bhel, a wagoner, to such a degree that he leaped out of a 
window, thinking to make his escape, but was soon killed. The other five defended 
themselves with great intrepidity, having killed one Indian, until they were relieved 
by a party of Rangers who came to their assistance, and after exchanging a few shots 
the Indians fled, seeing our people had the advantage of a log fence. 

The Palatines received only about four hours' notice of this attack, 
which fact, in the opinion of Judge Benton, tends to substantiate his 



theory that the settlement was not properly warned of the attack in the 
previous year.^ 

The French and Indian war closed with the conquest of Canada in 
1760, and a period of peace succeeded, which was most grateful to the 
harassed Palatines. Those wha had been carried into captivity returned 
and again took up the cultivation of their farms and the improvement 
of their homes. There were at this time nearly five hundred houses in 
the Mohawk valley between East Canada Creek and Sir William John- 
son's residence, and there was rich promise of development of the lo- 
cality. Several important Indian councils were held in the valley, some 
of them upon the soil of Herkimer county, between the restoration of 
peace and the period immediately preceding the outbreak of the Revo- 

In 1763 Nova Scotia, Canada, Cape Breton and other dependencies 
were ceded by France under the treaty of Paris, to the British crown, 
and the two Floridas by Spain, thus giving Great Britain control of the 
entire North American continent. During the preceding three-quar- 
ters of a century, and in spite of the four destructive wars, the colonies 
had greatly developed and improved the country as far as the settle- 
ments extended, and were pushing with rapid strides their commercial 
interests. This latter advancement led the mother country into the 
imposition of restrictions that threatened to disturb trade, to the great 
injury of the colonies; this, with burdensome taxation without repre- 
sentation, finally led to the revolt that culminated in the Revolution. 
It is not the purpose of this work, nor is there space in its pages, to 
follow in detail the historic events that resulted in the final declaration 
of independence; but merely to briefly note the conditions that were 
imposed upon this immediate locality by the great struggle and the part 
taken in it by the inhabitants of the Mohawk valley. 

' The old fort at German Flats was called Fort Herkimer ; and in 1758 was commanded by Colonel 
Charles Clinton, father of General James and Governor George Clinton, and grandfather of De 
Witt Clinton, who was a son of General James Clinton. This officer marched from this fort in the 
summer of 1758, under General Bradstreet. to Oswepo, and thence to the siege of Fort Frontenac 
[Kingston, Canada). This expedition was completely successful ; the French were not apprised at 
their approach until they saw them before the walls of their fortress. Among the persons who 
were afterward distinguished, who accompanied General Bradstreet, were Horatio Gates [to 
whom Burgoyne surrendered], then a captain, and Nathaniel Woodhull, then a major, afterward 
first president of the New York Provisional Congress, and who in the Revolution was a general 
and sealed his attachment to the caube of his country with his blood. 


In the Revolutionary VVar, as far as it pertained to this part of New 
York, Sir William Johnson exercised a greater influence than any other 
one person. His power over the Indians was almost unbounded, while 
his close adherence to the cause of England made him one to be feared 
ill the coming contest. But his influence was not felt among the Pala- 
tines as it was farther east in the valley and nearer his home. Sir 
William died on the i j th of July, 1 774, just at the outbreak of the Revo- 
lution, but his mantle of partisanship against the colonists fell upon his 
son. Sir John Johnson, and his nephew, Guy Johnson, and they ex- 
erted all their powerful influence to hold the allegianceof the Indians to 
the cause of England. At the same time, it was only a natural result 
of such a tremendous overthrow of government and its established 
usages and institutions, that there should be partisans. The epithet of 
"tory" has come down to us of to-day surrounded with an atmosphere 
of obloquy and opprobrium which, perhaps, it scarcely deserves. The 
very principle of free speech, thought and action, which underlies the 
government that was established by the patriots in the Revolution, 
would seem to have given the individual of that trying period a certain 
right to choose as to the direction which his allegiance should take. This 
would surely be true, were it not that the provocation meted out to the 
colonists was unbearable. The tory was the patriot in the eyes of the 
mother country, while the patriot colonist was the rebel of that govern- 
ment. This is not advanced in mitigation of many barbarous deeds by 
tories and Indians against the suffering settlers in America; but because 
it may be better to forget, under the softening influence of time, the 
animosities and differences that could not fail to be stirred into life during 
such a struggle as our Revolution. But whatever the opinion enter- 
tained on this point, it can be truthfully recorded that very few of the 
Palatines are known to have abandoned their homes and followed the 
fortunes of the Johnsons. If promises were held out to them as induce- 
ment toward such a course, they were generally futile. They had not 
forgotten the scenes of November, 1757, and April, 1758, when they 
were left on an unprotected frontier, by those who, possibly, might have 
given them succor, to the destruction and bloodshed that followed in 
the wake of a savage foe. And they also had loftier motives to guide 
their actions and control them in the course they should pursue in the 


contest. They well knew the miseries of serfdom, a concomitant of 
regal power and the rule of one man. They appreciated the sentiment 
that man ought not to be burdened unjustly without his consent; and 
exposed as they were, and suffer as they undoubtedly knew they must 
in the coming struggle, they still embraced with zeal the cause of the 
colonies against the mother country and held out firmly to the end. 



THROUGH the influence of Sir William Johnson, Tryon county was 
formed in 1772, with Johnstown, Fulton county, as the county seat, 
where a court-house and jail were soon erected. At the formation of 
the new county there were probably about 10,000 inhabitants, most of 
whom were settled along the Mohawk. The county embraced all of 
the State west of a line running due north from the Delaware River 
through what is now Schoharie county, and along the eastern limits of 
the present counties of Montgomery, Fulton and Hamilton, to the Ca- 
nadian line. Instead of townships, this large territory was divided into 
five districts, the easternmost one being named Mohawk ; this embraced 
the territory between the eastern line of the county and a line running 
parallel thereto crossing the Mohawk at the " Noses." The Stone 
Arabia district extended indefinitely northward from the river between 
the Mohawk district on the east and on the west from a line running 
north and south through the State crossing the river at Little Falls. 
With the same breadth, the Canajoharie district reached southward to 
the Pennsylvania line. North of the Mohawk River and west of the 
Stone Arabia district, as far as settlements extended, was the Kingsland 
district; while south of the river, extending westward from the Canajo- 
harie district to the meridian of Fort Stanwix, and southerly to the Penn- 
sylvania line, was the German Flats district. One year after the for- 
mation of these districts, the name of Stone Arabia district was changed 
to Palatine. The inhabitants of the districts elected on the first Tues- 


day in the year, a supervisor, two assessors and one collector for each 
district. Courts and civil officers were provided, and the first court in 
the county was held at Johnstown on Tuesday, September 8, 1772. 

There was not, perhaps, in the whole country during the period just 
preceding the Revolution a section of the frontier where a deeper and 
more active interest was shown in'the affairs and prospects of the colonies, 
than in the Mohawk valley. This was necessarily the case, on account 
of the intense partisanship of the Johnsons combined with their great 
power over the Indians on the one hand, and on the other the patriotic 
loyalty to the colonists of the Dutch in the lower valley and the Pala- 
tines farther west. Sir William Johnson had not been dead two months 
when a public meeting was held in the Palatine district at which a series 
of resolutions was adopted warmly commendatory of the blessings to be 
derived from the British government and extolling the duty of every 
person in submitting to whatever restrictions and burdens the crown saw 
fit to impose. Then followed the Declaration of Rights by the Conti- 
nental Congress in September, 1774, and the battle of Lexington, as it is 
termed, in the spring of 1775. The news of this event was received in 
Johnstown during a session of the court. The loyalists thereupon under- 
took a demonstration against the Colonial Congress by circulating a 
declaration disapproving of the proceedings of that body in the preced- 
ing autumn. After much altercation the signatures of a majority of the 
county officials were obtained to the declaration, which proceeding 
threw the Whigs into a fever of excitement and indignation. They 
called public meetings and appointed committees, and adopted an article 
of association endorsing the action of Congress and pledging the signers 
to its support. 

It soon became apparent that the Johnsons and their allies were not 
only loyalists of the most determined character, but that they would 
attempt the suppression of all patriotic demonstration in the countJ^ 
In view of this condition of affairs the Palatine committee met on the 
19th of May, 1775, and addressed a letter to the committee at Albany, 
in which they represented their circumstances, stating that Johnson 
Hall was fortified and armed ; that Colonel Johnson had stopped two 
New England men passing up the valley and searched them ; recom- 
mending that no ammunition be sent up the valley except under the 



inspection of, and consigned to, the committee, to be given out to such 
shopkeepers as they should approve and concluding : " In a word, gentle- 
men, it is our fixed resolve to support and carry into execution every- 
thing recommended by the Continental Congress, and to be free or 
die." That expression bears the true ring of patriotism and shows 
clearly the attitude of the majority of the inhabitants of the valley. 

In Campbell's " Annals of Tryon County " the date of the first united 
meeting of the county committee is given as June 2, 1775, with the 
following as the names of the committee : 

From the Palatine district : Cliri.stopher P. Yates, John Frey, Andrew Fink, Andrew 
Reiber, Peter Waggoner, Daniel McDougal, Jacob Klock, George Ecker, Jun., Harma- 
nus Van Slyck, Christopher W. Fox, Anthony Van Veghten ; 11. 

From the Cana)oharie district : Nicholas Herkimer, Ebenezer Cox, William Seeber, 
John Moore, Samuel Campbell, Samuel Clyde, Thomas Henry, John Pickard ; 8. 

From the Kingsland and German Flats districts: Edward Wall, William Petry, John 
Petry, Augustine Hess, Frederick Orendorf, George Wentz, Michael Ittig, Frederick 
Fox, George He.-kimer, Duncan McDougal, Frederick Helmer, and John Frink; 12. 

From the Mohawk district: John iVlorlett, John Bliven, Abraham Van Home, Adam 
Fonda, Frederick Fisher, Sampson Simmons, William Schuyler, Volkert Veeder, James 
McMaster and Daniel Lane; 10. In all, 41. 

Previous to the above named meeting the Mohawk delegates had been 
influenced by the Johnsons against attending the committee gatherings. 
Such was the case on the 24th of May, when all the committees met, 
excepting Mohawk, and unanimously approved of the previous action 
of the Palatine committee, and voted that Daniel McDougall, for Pala- 
tine district, David Cox for Canajoharie, and Edward Wall and Duncan 
McDougall for German Flats and Kingsland, be sent to Sclienectady 
and Albany to confer with the committees of those places upon the sit- 
uation, and to procure ammunition, etc. Meanwhile Guy Johnson was 
secretly active in inciting the Indians to keep alive their memory of Sir 
William and to hold themselves ready to protect himself and his property. 
He undoubtedly early saw his impending doom. At the meeting of 
June 2, above mentioned, a long letter, written in a spirit of patriotic 
and dignified protest against his disloyal acts and maintaining the position 
of the committees, was prepared and forwarded to Johnson. This drew 
from him a reply in which he mildly deprecated the unconstitutional 
means taken by the colonists to redress their wrongs ; excusing the 


fortification of his house by his fears of actual danger to himself; deny- 
ing that he had stopped any travelers, and closing with the assurance 
that he should always be glad to promote their true interests. But his 
acts belied his words. He went first to Fort Stanwix and thence to 
Ontario and Oswego, where he held councils with the Indians and 
further secured their promised devotion to the king through gifts and 
rewards. He finally repaired to Montreal where he remained through 
the war, continuing the discharge of his duties as Indian agent and de- 
voting himself indirectly to the destruction of the people of whom lie 
had written that he " should always be glad to promote their true iii- 

In their alarming situation, especially as regarded the attitude of the 
Six Nations, the colonists made earnest efforts to dissuade them from 
joining in the approaching struggle. These efforts were successful only 
with a large part of the Oneidas and the Tuscaroras. The last 
council held before the war was convened at Albany August 23-3 1, 
1775, and although some assurance was then obtained from the Indians 
that they would remain neutral, it was not many months before the 
great body of the Mohawks, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas evinced 
their attachment to the royal cause. Following the flight of Guy John- 
son, the colonists found it necessary to keep a close watch upon the 
movements of Sir John. He was surrounded by a large body of tories 
and Indians and left no means untried to harass and annoy the settlers. 
As a last resort the Tryon county committee resolved to make him 
speak out his intentions and hold him responsible for his utterances. 
They accordingly addressed a letter to him, over the signature of 
Nicholas Herkimer, which contained the following paragraph : 

We want to know whether you will allow that the inhabitants of Johnstown and 
Kingsboi'oiigh may form themselves into companies according to the regulations of our 
Continental Congress, for the defense of our country's cause ; and whether your honor 
would be ready himself to give his personal assistance to the same purpose. 

Sir John's reply left no doubt resting upon his sentiments, at least. 
It was thus reported to the committee by the messengers who conveyed 
their inquiries : 

In regard of embodying his tenants into companies, he never did forbid them, neither 
should do it, as they may use their pleasure ; but we might save ourselves the trouble, 
he being sure they would not. 


Concerning himself, he said that before he would sign any association, or would lift 
his hand up against his king, he would rather suffer that his head shall be cut off. 

Sir John continued hi.s military preparations about Johnson Hall, and 
succeeded in keeping the inhabitants of the county in continual alarm. 
The activity and growing boldness of the tories led to the issuance of an 
order by Congress to General Sciiuyler in January, 1776, directing him 
to take steps to captur- the materials of war reported as stored at Johns- 
town and disarm the tories. With about 700 men General Schuyler 
proceeded toward Johnstown. At Guy Park, some miles east of Johns- 
town, Sir John and a party of his followers were encountered. The 
baronet was at first disposed to assume a belligerent attitude, but he 
was soon convinced of a better course and asked for twenty-four hours 
for consideration. This was granted and he returned to the Hall. From 
Caughnawaga, whither General Schuyler had marched, and where he 
had met General Herkimer and the militia, an ultimatum was sent to 
Sir John. He was permitted to retain some family arms and allowed 
certain liberty in prescribed limits in the eastern part of the State. To 
this he agreed, but his continued violation of the compact and renewed 
evidences of his hostility to the cause led General Schuyler to the con- 
clusion that the only proper and safe course was to place him under 
arrest. An expedition was sent out in May for this purpose and to quell 
all disaffection about Johnstown. Sir John received information of this 
movement and he fled with his retainers to Canada, where he accepted 
a commission as colonel in tlie British arm\' and formed two battalions 
of " Royal Greens" from the tories who had accompanied him. They 
became the bitterest enemies with whom the patriots had to contend. 

After the departure of Sir John and his band, who were subsequently 
followed by other parties of tories, this class of persons made no further 
hostile demonstrations in the county. 

Returning to the subject of military affairs in the county in 1775, the 
committee of safety organized the militia of the county into four battal- 
ions and on the 26th of August transmitted the return, through Nicho- 
las Herkimer, the chairman, to the general committee of safety, then in 
session in New York, by whom it was approved on the 6th of Septem- 
ber. Following is a list of field officers of the four battalions who were 
nominated in each district : 


First battalion Canajoharie district. — Nicholas Herkheimer, colonel; Ebenezer Cox, 
lieutenant-colonel ; Robert Wells, major ; Samuel Clyde, adjutant. 

Second battalion, Palatine district. — Jacob Clock, colonel; Peter Waggoner, lieuten- 
ant-colonel; Harmanus Van Slyck, major; V. Vechten, adjutant. 

Third battalion, Mohawk district. — Frederick Fisher, colonel; Adam Fonda, lieuten- 
ant-colonel ; John Bliven, major ; Robert Yates, adjutant. 

Fourth battalion, German Flats and Kingsland. — Hanyoost Herkheimer, colonel ; 
Peter Bellinger, lieutenant-colonel ; Hanyoost Shoemaker, major ; John Demooth, ad- 

The following are the names of the other officers of the fourth bat- 
talion : 

1st company. — John Eisenlord, captain; John Keyser, 1st lieutenant ; Adam Bellin- 
ger, 2d lieutenant; John Smith, er.sign. 

2d company.— John Petry, captain; Hanyoost Mx. Petry, 1st lieutenant; Hanyoo.«t 
H. Petry, 2d lieutenant ; William Empie, ensign. 

3d company. — Daniel Petry, captain ; Peter Volts, 1st lieutenant ; Marx Raspach, 
2d lieutenant ; George Helmer, ensign. 

4th company.— Frederick Bellinger, captain; Henry Herter, 1st lieutenant; John 
Demooth, 2d lieutenant; Peter Ja. Weaver, ensign. 

5th company. — Peter Bellinger, captain ; Jacob Baschawn, 1st lieutenant ; Nicholas 
Staring, 2d lieutenant; John P. Bellinger, ensign. 

6th company. — Hanyoost Herkheimer, captain ; Frederick Ahrendorf, 1st lieutenant; 
Tinus Clapsaddle, 2d lieutenant. 

7th company. — Rudolph Shoemaker, captain ; Deiterick Stale, 1st lieutenant ; Freder 
ick Shoemaker, 2d lieutenant. 

8th company. — George Herkheimer, captain; Frederick Fox, 1st lieutenant; Archi 
bald Armstrong, 2d lieutenant; Hanyoost Tygert, ensign. 

9th company. — William Tygert, captain; Jacob Volts, 1st lieutenant ; George Wenis, 
2d lieutenant; Frederick Frank, ensign. 

By a vote of the committee, Nicholas Herkimer was appointed "Chief 
Colonel, Commander for the County of Tryon." 

The year 1777 produced a series of events of remarkable historical 
importance to the people of the Mohawk valley. In the spring an in- 
vasion was threatened by a large force of Indians under the famous 
Brant. He was met at Unadilla by General Herkimer, with whom he 
had been on friendly terms. The interview was beset with danger and 
a conflict was narrowly escaped ; but it closed without practical results, 
and Brant returned down the Susquehanna. 


On the 3d of August ( 1777) Fort Schuyler was invested by Colonel 
St. Leger, with a force of 1,700 men. The approach of this attack was 
communicated to Colonel Gansevoort and the authorities of Tryon coun- 
ty by the friendly Oneida Indians. The American force at the fort was 
seven hundred and fifty men, and the supply of ammunition was deficient. 
The first news of the proposed siege of Fort Schuyler seems to have 
thrown the inhabitants of the valley into needless alarm which became 
almost a panic — a condition justified only by their unprotected situation 
and the probability that they could receive little assistance beyond their 
own efforts. On the 17th of July General Herkimer issued a proclama- 
tion announcing that 2,000 " Christians and savages " had assembled at 
Oswego for a descent upon the Mohawk valley, and warning the people 
to be ready at a moment's notice to take the field against the enemy, the 
men from sixteen to sixty for active service, and the aged and infirm to 
defend the women and children. Of the immediate subsequent opera- 
tions Judge Benton wrote as follows : " As soon as the approach of St. 
Leger to Fort Schuyler was known in Tryon county, General Herkimer 
ordered the militia of his brigade to rendezvous at Fort Dayton ( theh 
called German Flats ). This defense was erected in the western part of 
Herkimer village, and the general soon found himself at the head of 
about nine hundred men, composed of the three militia regiments conv 
manded by Colonels Klock, Cox, Vischer and some others, with volun- 
teers of officers and men from various parts of the country. The pub- 
lished accounts of the forces collected under General Herkimer on this 
occasion do not designate the localities from which the several regiments 
were drawn ; enough is known, however, to warrant the assertion that 
the militia of the German Flats and Kingsiand district were attached to 
the regiment commanded by Colonel Peter Bellinger, whose lieutenant- 
colonel was Frederick Bellinger ; major, Enos Klepsattle. The militia 
of these districts participated in the battle of Oriskany. The alacrity 
and zeal evinced on this occasion should have entirely eradicated all 
impressions unfavorable to the patriotic devotion of the inhabitants of 
the valley, growing out of the expression of despondency in the early 
part of the year. Surely after this no one could complain of German 
disloyalty to the cause of the colonists. General Herkimer left Fort 
Dayton on the 4th of August, and encamped near the Oriskany on the 


5th, crossing the Mohawk river at old Fort Schuyler ( now Utica ) on the 
march up. At this point the general expressed his doubts of the ex- 
pediency of a forward movement, until reinforcements should arrive, or 
the prearranged signal should be given by Colonel Gansevoort from the 
fort. An express, Adam Helmer and two other men, had been dis- 
patched to the fort, informing the commandant of the general's approach, 
and to arrange matters of co-operation. The messengers did not reach 
the fort until ten or eleven o'clock in the morning of the 6th. Three 
successive discharges of heavy ordnance was the signal agreed on, an- 
nouncing the arrival of the express ; the reports of which, it was assumed, 
could be heard at Herkimer's encampment, eight miles distant from the 
fort. Recriminatory and insubordinate language was used on the occa- 
sion, and the general was denounced to his face as a tory and coward ; 
who replied, that their safety was in his hands, and he desired to avoid 
all difficulties that could not be surmounted by bravery and good con- 
duct. On this occasion the general told some of his subordinates, who 
had been noisy and liberal in their accusations of his fidelity and cour- 
age, that they would be the first to run on the approacli of the enemy ; 
which was soon verified to the very letter. 

" All previous accounts had fixed St. Leger's forces at 2,ooo strong, 
nearly half of which were Indians led by Brant, a brave, active and 
artful Mohawk sachem. Herkimer knew this, and he no doubt believed, 
as well he might, that a force superior to his own could be sent against 
him, which would select its own battlefield, without in any way inter- 
fering with the investment of the fort. But noisy insubordination pre- 
vailed, and precipitated the little band of patriots into the jaws of death. 
Smarting under the repeated accusations heaped upon him, and irritated 
no doubt, the general gave orders to take up the line of march, which 
was received with cheers by the men, who proceeded rapidly on their 
way, two deep, having thrown out the usual advanced and flanking 

"At lo o'clock on the 6th the main body of troops passed over a 
causeway on a marshy ravine, the advance having commenced an ascent 
of the westerly slope, when a well directed fire from the enemy, in front 
and on both flanks, accompanied with the dismal Indian war-whoop, 
unfolded to the .American fjeneral that his division had become involved 


in an almost inextricable ambuscade. Retreat was impossible, for the 
causeway over the marsh was already blocked up with teams; and the 
rear guard, just commencing the descent of the eastern declivity, com- 
manded by one of the officers who in the morning had taunted his gen- 
eral with cowardice, turned and fled on the first fire of the enemy. But 
flight did not save them from the fate that awaited their comrades on the 
west side of the ravine; the enemy, knowing well the ground, had gained 
the rear, and shot down the fugitives as they ran away from their com- 
panions. As might well be expected, the suddenness of the attack and 
the intensity of the enemy's fire, not only produced great disorder 
among the provincials, but annihilation seemed almost inevitable for a 

" In this disorder the conflict raged about half an hour, when the 
Americans formed themselves into circular squads, the more effectually 
to repel the attacks of the enemy, who were steadily approaching on 
all sides; and, from this moment, resistance became more effective. The 
enemy then charged with bayonet, but they were met by brave hearts 
and strong arms, and thus the battle raged, until the parties were com- 
pelled to desist by a heavy shower of rain, which raged with great fury 
more than an hour. The enemy sought the best shelter they could 
find, at a good distance from the provincials, when the latter, under the 
directions of their general, occupied a favorable piece of ground, and 
then so formed themselves as to be able to repel an attack from any 
quarter. The fight was renewed, but the Indians, suffering severely 
by the deadly fire of the militia, began to give ground, when a detach- 
ment of Johnson's Greens, composed chiefly of loyalists who had fled 
from Tryon county, were brought into action face to face with many of 
their former neighbors. Then mutual hate and revenge raged with un- 
speakable intensity between the combatants, and the conflict now be- 
came, if possible, more a death struggle than ever. 

" In the mean time, while the battle was the most fierce, a firing was 
heard in the direction of the fort; no unwelcome sound, as may well be 
supposed, to the handful of surviving provincials, nor very gratifying to 
the enemy. During the conflict at the Oriskany, a well conducted 
sortie from the fort, under the command of Colonel Willett, was made 
upon the forces under St. Leger, for the purpose of drawing the enemy's 


attention to the preservation of their camp in that direction. This was 
well understood by the provincials, and in it they saw great hope of de- 
liverance. This was not a fight suited to the taste of savages, who found 
their numbers fast diminishing, nor could such a contest be long main- 
tained with much hope of survivorship by either party, ' Oouah,' the 
retreating cry of the Indians, was heard in the distance, and their flight 
commenced with a salute of shouts and bullets from the surviving pro- 
vincials. The Greens and Rangers soon followed the example of their 
illustrious allies by a precipitate retreat, abandoning their dead and 
wounded, and the deeply crimsoned battlefield in the undisputed pos- 
session of the Tryon county militia. Was this a victory, or a defeat of 
the provincials? By all the laws of war, they are victors who remain 
masters of the battle-ground. The American report gave the number 
of provincial militia killed, two hundred, besides the wounded and pris- 
oners. The British accounts state the killed at four hundred, and two 
hundred prisoners, making in all six hundred, besides the wounded. 
Now in modern warfare, and in the severest battles, the wounded are 
more than two to one of the killed, say nothing about prisoners. The 
British accounts do not claim there was over one thousand militia on 
the march at this time to raise the siege of Fort Schuyler. Surely four 
hundred killed, eight hundred wounded and two hundred prisoners, out 
of one thousand, is making sad havoc in the fighting line. But this is 
not so ; and St. Leger, when he gave this statement of killed and 
prisoners to General Burgoyne, was indulging not a little in the M. de 
Belletre vein. 

"The battle was a severe one. The severest, perhaps, for the num- 
ber engaged, that took place during the whole Revolutionary War. 
And from the character of the combatants, the surprise, and the disad- 
vantages under which the provincials labored during the whole six 
hours' conflict, the proportion of the killed to the wounded must have 
been greatly beyond what ordinarily occurs in the hardest actions, where 
firearms are used as the principal weapon of assault and defense. "^ 

In his account of the battle of Oriskany published in 1877, William 
L. Stone gives the following list of officers of the Tryon county militia 
who were killed or wounded in the engagement: 

1 For sketch of General Herkimer, see later pages. 


In Colonel Visscher's regiment, Captains John Davis and Samuel Pettingill, killed ; 
Major Blauvelt and Lieutenant Groat, taken prisoners and never afterwards heard of; 
Captain Jacob Gardinier and Lieutenant Samuel Gardinier, wounded. In Colonel Ja- 
cob Klock's regiment, Major John Eisenlord and Major Van Slyck (Palatine district) 
and Captain Andrew Dillenback (Palatine district), killed; Captain Christopher Fox 
and John Breadbeg ( Palatine district), wounded; Brigade Major John Frey (Palatine 
district), wounded and prisoner. In Colonel Peter Bellinger's regiment. Major Enos 
Klapsattle, Captain Frederick Helmer, and Lieutenant Petrie ( all of German Flats), 
killed; Lieutenant-colonel Frederick Bellinger and Henry Walradt (German Flats), 
prisoners. In Colonel Ebenezer Cox's regiment, Colonel Cox and Lieutenant-colonel 
Hunt (Canajoharie district), killed; Capl.nins Henry Dievendorff, Robert Grouse and 
Jacob Bowman ( all of Canajoharie district), killed ; Captain Jacob Seeber and Lieu- 
tenant William Seeber ( both of Canajoharie district), mortally wounded. The sur- 
geon, Moses Younglove, was taken prisoner. Among the volunteers not belonging to 
the militia, who were killed, were Isaac Paris (Palatine district), Samuel Billington 
(Palatine district ), John Dygert and Jacob Snell (Manheim). 

Colonel Gansevoort refused to surrender Fort Schuyler on any terms 
offered by St. Leger, and the latter undoubtedly feared the consequences 
of prolonged delay after the battle of Oriskany. An effort was there- 
fore made by Sir John Johnson and Colonels Claus and John Butler, 
who were among the besiegers, to detach the inhabitants of the valley 
from the patriot cause by sending emissaries among them with incen- 
diary proclamations. Knowledge of a secret meeting of tories to be held 
at the house of a Mr. Shoemaker reached Colonel Weston at Fort Day- 
ton, who immediately sent a party and surprised and captured Lieuten- 
ant Walter N. Butler, of St. Leger's army, with twenty eight soldiers 
and Indians, who had come to German Flats on a mission from Sir John 
Johnson. Butler was tried as a spy and sentenced to death, but was 
reprieved and sent to Albany as a prisoner. He finally made his escape 
and became one of the most dastardly and bloodthirsty tories of his 
time. His final fate is noticed a little further on. 

The American General Arnbld arrived at Fort Dayton about the mid- 
dle of August, at which point troops were gathering with the purpose 
of relieving Fort Schuyler. Arnold issued a proclamation to counter- 
act the efforts of Johnson and Claus on the 20th of August, and on the 
23d left Fort Dayton with his soldiers, determined to risk a battle with 
the superior numbers of the enemy at Fort Schuyler. After half a 
day's march he met a courier from Colonel Gansevoort with the news 
that the siege was raised. This happy result was accomplished through 


a ruse devised by General Arnold, in which an ignorant and half-witted 
person named Han Yost Schuyler who leaned towards the tory element 
and was captured with the others at Shoemaker's house, was the active 
instrument. He had been sentenced to death, but upon intercession by 
his mother and brother, it was stipulated that liis life would be spared 
if he would proceed to St. Leger's headquarters in company with a 
friendly Oneida Indian, and find some way to so alarm the enemy that 
they would retreat. Han Yost gladly accepted the mission and left his 
brother Nicholas as a hostage. Schuyler's wits were sharpened by his 
danger, and he cunningly fired numerous holes in his garments to in- 
dicate that he had fled for his life, and started with the Indian for St. 
Leger's camp. He went by one road and the Indian by a different one, 
it being arranged that they should not recognize each other when they 
met. Being well known as a loyalist, the ignorant German found will- 
ing listeners in the British officers, and he soon impressed them with 
the danger of continuing the siege. The Indian corroborated the story, 
and the effect was all that could have been desired ; the army retreated, 
accompanied as far as Wood Creek by Han Yost, who then left them 
and returned to Fort Schuyler the same evening. The commander of 
the fort was then able for the first time to understand the sudden de- 
parture of the enemy. '^ 

The remainder of the year 1777 was not marked by any important 
occurrence that deserves notice here. Tiie inhabitants of the county 
proceeded with the spring work on their farms in 1778, in the liope of 
reaping a harvest in the autumn. They were doomed to disappoint- 

On the 25th of June the following appointments were made by the 
governor and council to the regiment of militia in the German Flats 
and Kingsland districts : 

Field Ollioers and Regimental Stall'. — Peter Bellingfr, colonel; Frederick Bellinger, ; George Demoth, adjutant ; Rudolph Steel, quartei master. 

Michael Ittig, captain; Jacob Baulcom, first lieutenant ; Frederick Frank, second 
lieutenant ; Patrick Campbell, ensign. 

1 Although this stratagem is generally credited to [General Arnold, Judge Benton doubts the 
statement, and we are inclined to agree with him. The principal ground for the doubt lies in the 
extreme probability that nothing would better have pleased the rash American General Arnold at 
that time than an opportunity to flog the " banditti of robbers, murderers and traitors," as he had 
characterized the forces under St. Leger ; and that he would not, therefore, have adopted a plan to 
frighten them beyond his reach. 



Henry Harter, captain ; John Demotb, first lieutenant; Peter .Ta. Weaver, second 
lieutenant; John F. Bellinger, ensign. 

Jacob Small, captain ; George F. Helmer, second lieutenant; Jacob D. Petrie, ensign. 

Henry Staring, captain ; Theobald Baker, first lieutenant ; George Weaver, second 

Soverenus Cassleman, captain; Henry Uuber, first lieutenant; Jacob G. Klock, sec- 
ond lieutenant. 

Frederick Getman, captain ; Jacob Meyer, second lieutenant; John Meyer, ensign. 

Henrv Eckler, captain ; Conrad Orendorff, first lieutenant; Timothy Frank, second 
lieutenant; Adam A. Staring, ensign. 

The nine companies formed in 1775 were thus reduced to seven by 
the casualties of the war. The names of Herkimer and Shoemaker 
had disappeared from the rohs, and only one of the Petries was left. 

Plan and Profile of Retrenched Work round Harkemeis house at y" German Flats, 1756 

The first hostility in the county in 1778 occurred in what is now the 
town of Warren, when Brant and a few of his followers attacked and 
burned a settlement called Andrustown, killed five persons and cap- 


tured the remainder of the seven famihes living there. This event 
occurred in July, and in the following month and the first days of Sep- 
tember, the Palatine settlements were destined to suffer at the hands of 
the enemy. At this time, as the reader has already learned, there 
were two fortifications for the protection of the upper valley : Fort 
Herkimer, near the south bank of the Mohawk river, containing the 
stone church and the stone mansion of the Herkimer family, with some 
other buildings, and surrounded by a ditch ; and Fort Dayton, on a 
slight elevation in the westerly part of Herkimer village, a few rods 
from the site of the present court-house. These forts, while they 
would appear as insignificant defenses from the standpoint of modern 
warfare, were then quite effective protection against the arms of that 
period. There were then about seventy dwellings on both sides of the 
river in the neighborhood of the two forts, besides barns, other out- 
buildings and mills, with a large population in proportion to the num- 
ber of houses. Brant had remained quiet at Unadilla for a long time, 
a fact that aroused the suspicions of the inhabitants of the valley, and 
they finally sent four men as scouts to learn the Indian's intentions. 
The scouts fell in with the moving enemy and three were killed, while 
the fourth, John Helmer, escaped by flight, returned to the fort and 
reported the approach of Brant and a large body of Indians and tories. 
The terror-stricken people fled into the forts, carrying with them their 
most valuable possessions. 

The Indian chief at the head of three hundred tories and about half 
as many savages approached the senlement just at nightfall, but as the 
weather was stormy they remained near the dwelling of Shoemaker, 
the tory sympathizer, until morning, when the torch was applied to 
every building in the settlement and to the stacks of hay and grain, 
while the stock of the farmers was jtfterward driven away. Only two 
persons lost their lives, thanks to the escape and return of John Hel- 
mer with the news of the intended attack. It is recorded that sixty- 
three dwellings, fifty-seven barns, three grist-mills and two saw- mills 
were burned ; and 235 horses, 229 cattle, 269 sheep and 93 oxen were 
driven away. About 400 militia followed in pursuit of the enemy as 
far as Unadilla, but the chase was fruitless. It seems sadly unfort- 
unate that there could not have been a force of soldiers from the 


general army provided at one of these forts, sufficient to have left the 
defenses and attacked such a body of marauders at such a time ; but 
by the student of tlie records of the great struggle it is known that the 
numbers of the army were inadequate to the protection of an extended 
frontier, and at the same time prosecute the war at many vastly 
more important points. 

This destructive raid seems to have satisfied the tories and Indians 
that they had accomplished all the damage possible for a considerable 
period. The lower valley and other localities received the incursions of 
the enemy, while the German Flats and what is now the territory of 
Herkimer county was exempt from attack. On the 3d of April, 1780, 
about sixty tories and Indians descended upon the settlements of 
Rheimensynder's Bush, a few miles north of Little Falls, and burned 
a grist-mill. A tory named Cassleman was with the party. They 
took John Garter and his son John prisoners at the mill, and captured 
three men in the road, one of whom was Joseph Newman ; at the same 
time, John Windecker, Henry Shaver, George Adle, Cobus Van Slyke 
and one Youker (or Uker), with several others, were taken at Win- 
decker's father's house some distance north of the mill. All of these 
returned at the close of the war excepting John Garter, who died in 
Canada from punishment received for an attempt at escape, and George 
Adle, who escaped and returned earlier. Others of the inhabitants 
of Rheimensynder's Bush secured refuge in the block-house in the 
settlement. After this visit of the Indians, the people of that part of 
the county left their farms and retired to the lower part of the valley. 

In the month of May, 1781, Fort Schuyler was so far destroyed by 
flood and fire as to lead to its abandonment and the withdrawal of the 
garrison to the German Flats; but this was not a severe affliction, nor 
did it greatly weaken the situation of the settlers in Tryon county. On 
the 8th of May, of this year, Solomon Woodworth, a brave lieutenant 
in Colonel John Harper's New York regiment, was appointed first lieu- 
tenant in Colonel Fisher's regiment of Tryon county militia. With a 
company of forty rangers he was stationed at Fort Dayton, for the pur- 
pose of scouting the country north of the F'lats. Lieutenant Woodworth 
and his company left the fort to reconnoiter the Royal Grant. After a 
few hours' march they came upon an Indian, fired on him, and found 


themselves in an ambuscade and completely surrounded by savages. A 
bloody conflict followed, and the hand-to-hand fight left only fifteen of 
the Americans to return with the news of the fate of their comrades. 
Among the killed was Woodworth. This encounter " took place about 
three miles north of Herkimer village, on the east side of the West 
Canada Creek, in a deep ravine, where now may be seen the mound of 
earth, under which rest the remains of the gallant W'oodworth and iiis 
brave companions." ^ 

One of the most notable incidents in tiiis section, though partaking of 
a personal character, occurred on the 6th of August, 1781, when the 
small settlement of Shell's Bush, about three miles north of Fort Day- 
ton, was visited by a party of about sixty Indians and tories, under com- 
mand of Donald McDonald, a notorious Scotch refugee from Johns- 
town. A large portion of the inhabitants of the Bush probably received 
notice of the visit and sought siielter in Fort Dayton ; but John Chris- 
tian Shell was made of sterner stuff, and he, with his resolute wife and 
six sons, resolved to enter his block-house, which he had built upon his 
farm, and fight it out. Two of the boys, however, were twins only eight 
years old, and being out in the field were unable to reach the shelter, 
nor could the others reach them without sacrificing themselves, and the 
little fellows were carried away to Canada. Shell's block-house was 
built of logs and in the lower story were a heavy door and loop holes, 
while the second story projected over the first and the floor of the pro- 
jection vvas pierced with holes down through which the inmates could 
fire upon an attacking party, however close to the walls they might be 
Shell's wife made herself of the utmost usefulness in loading the guns 
for her husband and four sons to fire, and under the perpetual shower 
of well- aimed bullets the enemy was several times forced to retire. At- 
tempts were made to fire the block- house, but without success, and 
McDonald himself made an effort to force the door with a crow bar, 
but was wounded in the leg and dragged into the block-house by Shell. 
This capture protected Shell from being burned out by the enemy and 
also gave him a supply of ammunition. At one time in the assault, 
just after a short respite, the enemy came up for a vigorous attack and 
thrust the muzzles of their guns through the loop holes. This was Mrs. 

' Benton's Herkimer County, 


Shell's opportunity, and she disabled five of the guns with a blow from 
an axe. Just at dark Shell practiced ,a little stratagem which led the 
party to believe that relief was coming from the fort, and they fled to 
the woods. McDonald was taken to the fort the next day and hi.s leg 
amputated. Eleven of the enemy were killed and six wounded and 
left. Tlie little boys reported on their return after the war, that of 
twelve wounded which the party started away witii, nine died before 
reaching Canada. In the following year Shell was dangerously wounded 
by a bullet while at work in his field. Two of his sons were with him, 
and one was killed before relief came from the fort. John Christian 
Shell did not long survive his wounds, and died a good Christian. Judge 
Benton wrote as follows : 

"The Shellbush settlement is on what is usually called Gens Pur- 
chase, embracing perliaps some portion of the Royal Grant, and it will 
be observed that the name of Shell, Schel or Shaul does not occur 
among the patentees of Burnetsfield, nor is the name found in the list of 
Palatines remaining in New York, or taken to Livingston Manor, of the 
first two companies that emigrated. Enough is still known of him to 
authorize the conclusion that he was a German Lutheran, and he or his 
ancestors may have come over with the third body of immigrants in 
1/22, or at a later period." 

On the 24th of October of this year (1781) an expedition under Major 
Ross and Walter N. Butler made an incursion into the lower valley and 
repeated the bloody and barbarous deeds before enacted by these in- 
famous tories in other localities. After burning and destroying every- 
thing in their course, they retreated in a northerly direction through 
Jerseyfield. Colonel Wiliett learned of the raid, destroyed their ba- 
teaux left on Oneida Lake, and reached German Flats by forced marches 
to intercept their retreat on West Canada Creek. They encamped the 
first night in a thick forest on the Royal Grant, and there the colonel 
learned from his scouts the position and force of the enemy. The next 
morning he started in pursuit, but Ross was equally alert and began 
his retreat at break of day. Wiliett came up with the enemy in the 
afternoon, and a skirmish followed with the rear of the party, in which 
several of them were killed and some taken prisoners, among the latter 
being Lieutenant John Rykeman. The Americans overtook the main 


body of the enemy soon afterward, and a running fight was kept up 
until they crossed the creek late in the day. Butler rallied his men and 
made a stand on the west bank, and a brisk action took place, the par- 
ties being on opposite sides of the creek. About twenty of them were 
killed and among them Rutler himself.' With his death his men fled 
in confusion and were pursued by Willett until darkness fell. The enemy 
continued in retreat all night and marched thirty miles before a halt 
was made. The British had 670 men in this expedition, and it closed 
the active operations of the enemy in this vicinity for the year. 

At the close of Willett's pursuit of the British on the expedition 
above described, he returned to Fort Dayton, having lost only one 

The next event of importance to the people of Herkimer county took 
place in June, 1782, when a party of Indians and tories appeared at the 
Little Falls, apparently for the sole purpose of destrojing a grist-mill. 
This mill was of great usefulness to the settlers in the valley, especially 
after the destruction of those at the German Flats by Brant more than 
a year earlier. When the enemy reached the mill it was occupied by 
Peter Wolleaver, Christian Edick, Frederick Getman, Marks Rasbach,_ 
John Rasbach, Thomas Shoemaker, Lawrence Hatter, Jacob Petri, Dan- 
iel Petri (who was killed), Peter Orendorff; Gershom Skinner and F. 
Cox, millers; and a sergeant and six men from Captain McGregor's 
company. Hardly a shot was fired by the Americans. Two of the 
soldiers escaped and five were taken prisoners. Cox and Skinner hid 
themselves in the raceway under the water-wheel and escaped; two 
others, P2dick and Getman, jumped into the raceway and endeavored to 
conceal themselves, but the burning mill disclcsed their hiding place 
and they were taken prisoners. 

This was the last serious incursion into the Mohav\k valley during the 
Revolution. Towards the close of the j-ear the British commander iii- 
chief directed that no more Indian expeditions should be sent out at the 

' The manner of Butler's death has been differently related by participants in the battle, and 
others, some insistiniaj that he was killed outright ; others that he was wounded and afterwards 
murdered while supplicating for mercy, and still others that he reached the opposite bank of the 
creek where he stepped upon a fallen tree and deiied his pursuers, whereupon he was shot by two 
persons at the same time. There is no good reason for doubting Colonel Willett's official state- 
ment that Hutlerwas instantly killed in the course of the firing across the creek : in any event the 
question has been given much more importance than it ever deserved. 




north, and those already out were recalled. The dawn of peace was at 
hand. In February, 1783, the forces under Colonel Willett were concen- 
trated at Fort Herkimer, with the purpose of surprising and capturing 
the fortress at Oswego ; but the expedition failed on account of the small 
number of troops engaged and lack of proper armament to besiege the 
works. Colonel Willett returned to Albany in time to share in thejoys 
caused by the declaration of peace. 

On the 7th of March, 1788, the boundaries of several counties in the 
State were more definitely described, among them being Montgomery. 
Two of the towns established at this time, German Flats and Herkimer, 
contained most of the territory of the present Herkimer county, with 
much besides. The western boundary of both of these towns was a 
north and south line which crossed the Mohawk, " near and on the east 
side of the house of William Cunningham." This house stood near the 
foot of Genesee street, Utica. The original town of Herkimer extended 
north to the St. Lawrence and was bounded on the east by a line run- 
ning north from Little Falls. German Flats was bounded on the north 
by the Mohawk ; on the east by the line now forming the eastern bounds 
of Little Falls and Warren, and included all of the present towns of 
Herkimer county west of the latter line, excepting a part of Winfield. 
The town of Palatine adjoined Herkimer on the east, and Canajoharie 
lay next to German Flats. A part of Palatine was annexed to Herki- 
mer town in 1791 ; Warren was taken from German Flats in 1796, and 
Litchfield from the same town at the same time ; and in 1797 Salisbury 
was set off from Palatine. In the following year Norway and Schuyler 
were taken ofT from Herkimer, Newport was taken off in 1806, and a 
few other territorial changes were made in the town. 

After the close of the Revolution a New England element was rapidly 
introduced into the Mohawk valley, bringing with it the characteristic 
thrift and enterprise and push of that people. It was mainly through 
their influence that the separation of Herkimer from Montgomery county 
was effected on the 1 6th of February, 1791. The petition in opposition 
to the measure was dated December 29, 1790, and was drawn by Dr. 
William Petry. Among the 400 signatures are found nearly all the old 
Palatine names. 

The first reduction of the originally vast territory of Herkimer county 
occurred in the formation of Onondaga from it, March 5, 1794. Ham- 


ilton was taken off March 31, 1797. The formation of Chenango and 
Oneida, March 15, 1798 (the hitter including Lewis), conpiinicd most 
of the original territory of Herkimer county till then remaining outside 
of its present limits, and gave the county its present western boundary. 
Its north line was established by the creation of St. Lawrence, March 3, 
1802; and the present outline of Herkimer county was completed by 
moving the original eastern line eastward to its present position, April 
7, 18 1 7. The county is the longest in the State, the northernmost 
point of Wilmurt being a little over ninety miles from the southern- 
most point of Warren. 

The court-house and jail for Montgomery county were located at 
Whitesboro, now in Oneida county, and thus remained until the erec- 
tion of Herkimer county. 

Smarting under the inflictions ot the enemy in the Revolutionary war 
the colonists took prompt steps after the close of the war to organize 
their militia for protection against future aggression, which proved to 
be a wise course. In 1786 the local militia of the German Flats and 
Kingsland districts was reorganized and officered as follow s : 

Fielil ami Regimental Stafl" — Henry Staring, lieutenant-colonel; Peter Weaver, major 
1st battalion ; Patrick Campbell, major 2d battalion; John Frank, adjutant ; Mek-liert 
Foils, payma.ster; William Petry, surgeon. company — Jacob Petrie, captain ; Dederick Petrie, lieutenant ; William Feeter,' 

2d company -John Meyer, captain ; William Clapsaddle, lieutenant ; Henrj' Frank, 

3d company — Adam Staring, captain; Lndwick Campbell, lieutenant; Lawrence 
Harter, ensign. 

4tli company — Peter P. Bellinger, cajitain ; Jost Herkimer, lieutenant; Peter Fox, 

5th company — Michael Meyer, captain; Peter F. Bellinger, lieutenant; George 
Weaver, ensign. 

6th company — William Colbreath, captain ; Daniel C. White, lieutenant ; George J. 
Weaver, ensign. 

Besides the above a company of cavalry was organized, under com- 
mand of Captain Hudson, of what is now the town of Danube, and after- 

' This William Ketler was aiterwaids, in Marcli. 1791. appointed captain in the militia, being 
commissioned in two companies, and in April. 17^6, was commissioned second major in Jacob Pe- 
trie's regiment. In; the following year he was commissioned first major, and in 1798 was commis- 
sioned lieutenant-colonel, all these offices being in the Herkimer county militia. He died at Little 
Falls in 1844. 


wards under command of Peter Young, of Fort Plain, who was suc- 
ceeded by Captain Wemple, and he by Jacob Eacker, of Palatine. On 
the loth of April, 1812, Congress authorized the drafting of one hun- 
dred thousand men from the militia of the country, 13,500 being the 
New York quota. A few days later the State militia was formed into 
two divisions and eight brigades. The Fourth Brigade comprised the 
Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth Regiments in the Mohawk 
valley, and was under command of General Richard Dodge, of Johns- 

The causes that led to the outbreak of the war need not be cata- 
logued here. To abolish the repeated violations of the Embargo Act on 
the Canadian frontier, a regiment of the militia under Colonel Christo- 
pher Bellinger was stationed, in May, 1812, at Sackett's Harbor and 
other northern points. Upon the declaration of war in the following 
month, this body of troops was reinforced from the militia not yet called 
into service. During the war the militia and volunteers from the Mo- 
hawk valley were on duty along the frontier, the regiments and com- 
panies, when their terms of service expired, being replaced by others. 
Records are not accessible from which to obtain a list of those who 
served in this struggle from Herkimer county, but previous to 1859 
records in the adjutant-general's office at Albany show that about 230 
men from the county had presented claims to the State for various 
equipments furnished by themselves. 

With the close of the war the militia returned to their homes and the 
peaceful arts were taken up. The militia then comprised all able-bodied 
citizens between the ages of eighteen and forty- five years with certain 
exemptions. This organization, with minor changes, was substantial!}- 
continued down to near the outbreak of the Civil War, 186 1—5. 

With the development of the valley and especially of the rich territory 
farther west, the necessity of better and more rapid means of transpor- 
tation of freight and passengers became paramount, and soon led to the 
construction of the Erie Canal. This great undertaking had been dis- 
cussed since 1807, and in the following year a preliminary survey was 
made by James Geddes, of Onondaga. His report was favorable for a 
canal on substantially the line which it finally followed, and the Legisla- 
ture thereupon appropriated $3,000 for additional explorations and sur- 


veys, wliich were carried out in 1810. The war with Great Britain de- 
layed the beginning of the work, but it was revived as soon as peace 
was declared, and in 18 17 De Witt Clinton, who was a staunch friend 
to the enterprise, procured the passage of an act creating a commission 
to take up the work, and construction was actually begun in the spring 
of that year. It was more then two years before any part of the canal 
was ready for use. On the 22d of October, 1819, the first boat, called 
the Chief Engineer, was launched at Rome, to run between that place 
and Utica. On the 21st of July, 1820, tolls were first levied. In tlie 
previous autumn the canal was filled with water from the west to with- 
in two miles of Frankfort, where a dam was constructed to retain the 
water while the excavation was progressing eastward. The canal was 
used between Utica and Little Falls in the fall of 1821, the contractor 
at the latter point availing himself of the works of the Inland Lock 
Navigation Company, and that portion east to the Hudson was under 
contract. In the spring of 1S23 the canal was open throughout from 
Spraker's to the western part of the State, and on the 26th of October, 
1825, the great waterway was open from Black Rock at Lake Erie to 
the Hudson River. On the morning of that day a flotilla of boats 
started from Lake Erie for New York, in celebration of the event, car- 
rying the governor, commissioners and others. Cannon had been sta- 
tioned at intervals along the canal, to be fired when the boats passed, 
thus notifying the next station that all was going well. One of the guns 
was planted at Little Falls, one at Herkimer lock, and one on the hill 
in the present Frankfort cemetery. The flotilla proceeded to Albany, 
after a passage marked with public demonstrations of cntlnisiasni along 
the whole line. 

The completion of the canal revolutionized travel and traffic through 
the Mohawk valley, as it did throughout the State. The Mohawk 
River and the Navigation Company's canals were abandoned, and an 
active competition between the old-time stages and the new thor- 
oughfare sprang up. Travel greatly increased and the eastern mar- 
kets were made easily and cheaply accessible for the agricultural 
products of the State, thus aiding in the development of the country. 
As an evidence of the rapidity with which the canal was brought 
into use, particularly as regards freight, it may be stated that the num- 


ber of canal boats which arrived in Albany during the season of 1823, 
was 1,329; during that of 1824, 2,687; during that of 1825 it was 
3,336, and in 1826 it was about 7,000. The rate of transportation 
on the turnpike in 1826 was one and one-half cents per mile ; the rate 
by the canal was five mills. But it must not, therefore, be inferred 
that all passengers deserted the stage coaches for the packet boats. 
The canal passage was still tedious compared with that by land and 
was chosen by those who desired to lessen the fatigue of a journey ; 
it was avoided where time was of special account. Merchants, bank- 
ers and tradesmen, bound to and from the metropolis, lawyers in 
their journeys to courts, and all who were fulfilling engagements or 
intent only on business, made use of the stages until after railroads 
were built. 

But a spirit of enterprise was abroad. If the canal had proved itself 
of such immense importance, still more rapid and extensive transpor- 
tation facilities would, the progressive people argued, give the rich fields 
of the Mohawk valley precedence over any other part of the State. 
When tlie canal was opened to the public there was not a railroad in 
America. That was only sixty-five years ago. But the steam locomo- 
tive was already attracting attention on both sides of the Atlantic. In 
April, 1826, when the canal was just coming into full operation, a char- 
ter was granted to the "Mohawk and Hudson River Railroad Compa- 
ny," to construct a railroad between Albany and Schenectady. It was 
more than four years before the work was begun under this charter, and 
in the mean time railroads in other States had been completed, and the 
Auburn and Syracuse Railroad, chartered in May, 1834, was opened 
and first operated by steam in 1839. In August, 1830, work was begun 
on the Albany and Schenectady road, and it was so energetically ad- 
vanced that in October, 1 83 1, it was finished and carrying about four 
hundred passengers daily on the average. The road, although crude in 
its construction, and running so slow that the packet canal boats were 
strong rivals, was successful, and in 1833 a charter was granted for the 
Utica and Schenectady Railroad. The line was to run on the north 
bank of the Mohawk River and the road to be finished within ten years 
from the date of the charter. Work was begun in the fall of 1834, and 
in the summer of 1836 the road was completed, and regular traffic was 


begun on the 2d of August of that year. The event was celebrated by 
public demonstrations all along the line These railroad lines, with 
tiiose running west from Utica, were consolidated into the New York 
Central in 1853. 

While all these added transportation facilities were of great benefit 
to the State antl country at large, it cannot be said that the Mohawk 
valley shared in it for a number of years aftei their construction. The 
lumber interest, perhaps, was extended directly by the canal and rail- 
roads until a large portion of the county was cleared of valuable timber ; 
even in recent years the northern parts of the county have found in this 
industry their greatest source of wealth. But the opening to eastern 
markets of the rich fields of the so-called " Genesee country " in com- 
petition with the products of Herkimer and adjoining counties, worked 
seriously to the disadvantage of the latter, imposing conditions that con- 
tinued to be felt until the later wonderful growth of the dairy industry. 

Meanwhile the county rapidly advanced in all the various institu- 
tions that constitute the progressive American community. Further 
town divisions were made, as necessity seemed to demand, Manheim be- 
ing formed from Palatine in 1817 ; Winfield from Litchfield, Richfield 
(Otsego county) and Plainfield (Otsego county) in 1816; Ohio from 
Norway in 1823 ; Stark from Danube in 1828; Little Falls from Fair- 
field, Herkimer and German Flats in 1829; and Wilmurt from Russia 
and Ohio in 1836. Schools were established, newspapers published 
(the first in 1802, followed by three or four others by 1810), churches 
multiplied, all of which will receive proper treatment in the later town 

A reorganization of the Herkimer County Agricultural Society was 
effected under the act of May 6, 1841. The original society dated 
back to 1819, and was established under the act of that year which pro- 
vided among other things the distribution of an appropriation among 
the counties of the State for the promotion of agriculture through county 
societies. As far as Herkimer county was concerned, the society was 
short-lived. Under the reorganization, however, new life was infused 
into the society; annual fairs were held, and have continued to the 
present time, and the interest felt is general and the benefits freely 
acknowledged. During the early years of the society the grounds used 


were situated on the north side of the road between Mohawk and Her- 
kimer, on the premises of A. M. Gray ; but in 1874 grounds that were 
more commodious and convenient were leased from Philip Harter, 
on the south side of the road and nearer to Herkimer. 

In estimating the services of the settlers in the Mohawk valley in 
the War of the Revolution, it is no more than just to give them, as a 
whole, a high degree of commendation. Beset on the one hand by 
emissaries to induce them to give their allegiance to the king, and on 
the other knowing that almost certainly their homes would be ravaged 
and their lives endangered if they were true to their adopted country, 
it is not a marvel that some of their numbers were found among the 
tories ; it is even a wonder that so few embraced the royal cause It 
is believed by the best authority that not more than one in twenty 
deserted the colonists in the struggle. 

After the close of the war a large portion of the territory of the pres- 
ent Herkimer county was forfeited and confiscated, as before related, 
largely on account of the fact that the Royal Grant and other lands 
were in possession of the Johnson family. Most of this grant was thus 
forfeited and vested in the State. The tract of 2,000 acres, also, 
granted to Guy Johnson in 1765, situated in the present towns of Ger- 
man Flats and Little Falls, was forfeited. The Herkimer estates for- 
feited lay in the present limits of German Flats and Herkimer. These 
various confiscations of lands have been characterized and complained 
of as wanton, unnecessary and cruel ; but the general concensus of 
opinion upholds the proceeding as fully justified by the extreme prov- 
ocation given by those against whom the act was operative. 


Descendants of a considerable number of the Palatine families are still 
resident in Herkimer county, as will be seen in these notes. Among 
such may be mentioned the following : Bowman, Dacksteder (now 
Dockstader), Felmore (now P''ulnier), Herter, Lant (now Landt), 
Mayor (now Moyer), Orendros and Orendorf (now Ohrendorff), 
Pears (now Barse), Pell (now Bell), Reckert and Spohn. The families 

'These brief notes are condensed from sketches prepared by the late Judge Benton, and are 
given space in these pages that they may be preserved to future generations. 


who became extinct before the Revolution, their lands passing into 
other hands, were the Beermans, Fellers, Hosses, Korsings, Pouradts, 
Spies and Veldelents. 

Frederick and Anna .\fary Pell {Bell) each took one hundred acres 
of land on the north side of the river in the Burnetsfield grant, near 
the site of Herkimer village. The family was never very numerous 
in the county. One member with his son was killed by Brant and his 
Indians in July, 1778. George Henry Bell married General Herkimer's 
sister Catherine, and was a man of considerable note during the Revo- 
lution, commanded a company in the battle ofOriskany and was placed 
on the pension roll. He had two sons, Joseph and Nicholas, in that 
battle, the former of whom was killed. Nicholas escaped and was 
subsequently killed and scalped about a mile from his father's house on 
the road over Fall Hill. Captain Bell had charge of the escort which 
carried the wounded General Herkimer from the battlefield and more 
than thirty miles on a litter. Captain Bell lived on Fall Hill within 
the limits of the patent granted to his wife's father. He was commis- 
sioned justice of the peace of Tryon county February 2, 1778, and 
again in Montgomery county July 8, 1784, and reappointed March 27, 
1790. He had two sons and two daughters. One of the daughters 
married Henry I. Walrad and the other Peter Waggoner. The late Col. 
Joost Bell was a son of Nicholas. 

77/1? Bellinger {or Pellinger) Family. — There were five persons of 
this name who were grantees under the Burnetsfield patent, two of 
whom were married women. The name is found among those who 
volunteered under Colonel Nicholson in the expedition against Montreal 
in 171 1, and down to the close of the first quarter of the present cent- 
ury the name was a conspicuous one for numbers in the county, as well 
as the high regard in which some of them were held. In the Revolu- 
tion they were unyielding in their adherence to the patriot cause. Col. 
Peter Bellinger, whose regiment was composed of the militia of Ger- 
man Flats and Kingsland districts, and Lieut.-Col. Frederick Bellinger, 
of the same regiment, participated in the bloody battle of Oriskany, 
and the latter was taken prisoner and carried to Canada. Col. John 
Bellinger was also in the battle as a private. Gen. Christopher P. 
Rellinsrer was horn in the town of German Flats, and became an exten- 


sive farmer. His homestead was set off into the town of Little Falls 
when it was erected in 1828. He was many times chosen for the office 
of supervisor and justice of the peace; was four times elected member 
of Assembly within fourteen years. In 1821 he was again a candidate 
for the Assembly and received the certificate of election, but was un- 
seated soon after the organization of the house upon a technical con- 
struction of the returns. In the fall of 1823 he was elected to tlie 
Assembly, and it devolved upon that body to choose the electors of 
president and vice-president of the United States, or provide by law 
for some other method of appointment. General Bellinger was 
appointed on the committee of nine to which was referred the subject 
of altering the law prescribing the mode of choosing electors. The 
resulting bill to that end was, as is well known, defeated in the Senate. 
This was the last time General Bellinger represented the county in the 
Legislature. When the war of iSi2-i5was inaugurated the general 
had attained the rank of colonel in one of the county militia regiments, 
and he was detached by Governor Tomokins to take command of one 
of the regiments for the defense of the northern frontier and repaired 
with his command to Sackett's Harbor in May, 18 12, where he 
rendered efficient service. The term of service was three months 
and at its expiration the regiment was discharged. In the campaign 
of 1 8 14, Colonel Bellinger made a military tour on the frontier with 
the patriotic militia of the county. While he had no opportunity of 
especially distinguishing himself, he was noted as a diligent and prudent 
officer. Some years after the close of the war he was promoted to the 
rank of brigadier- general. He died at Little Falls, without male 
descendants, and leaving four daughters. 

Major Frederick Bellinger was a native of the county. He repre- 
sented the county in the Assembly in 1836, and was otherwise shown 
the confidence of the community. He died at Mohawk, leaving de- 
scendants. The Bellinger family suffered severely during the raids in 
the valley in the Revolution. 

The Keslaer or Casler Family. — This family was, and perhaps now 
is, one of the most numerous of the Palatine families in the town 
of Little Falls. The name is derived from the two original patentees, 
Johannes and Nicholas Keslaer, who each drew one hundred acres ; no 


other lands were drawn by persons of that name. Richard Casler, 
who died at a venerable age, was with Colonel Willett's party when 
Walter N. Butler was killed. Before his death he told Judge Benton 
that he remembered his grandfather, Johannes, the patentee. His father, 
Jacob, and his uncle, John, were both in the Oriskany battle. A small 
grist-mill was built on the Casler Creek before the war, which, being 
stockaded, protected it from being destroyed by the enemy. The Petri 
and Casler families were connected by marriage. Johan Marks Petri 
owned lot No, 12, at Little Falls, before the Revolution, and built a small 
grist-mill in the first place on Furnace Creek. The mill that was burned 
by the enemy, a relation of which has been given in another place, was 
on the river, and supplied with water from it. 

Frederick Casler, a descendant of one of the patentees, died in Octo- 
ber, 1849, ^fid his father, Jacob, died in 1822 ; John Jacob, the grand- 
father of Frederick, died in January, 181 1. Jacob and George Keslaer 
were two of the seventeen patentees of Staley's first and second tracts, 
granted in 1755. Richard Casler, before mentioned, died on the i8th 
of September, 1855, at the great age of ninety-five years. 

The Editch Family. — This name is variously written and printed 
as Edigh, Edich, Itigh, Ittigh and Ittich. Michael Ittich was one of the 
volunteers in Colonel Nicholson's expedition in 171 1. There were 
four persons of the name among the patentees, but it is not known 
which one was the head of the family or how they were related. 
Michael Itigh was one of the patentees of Cornradt Frank's patent, 
granted in 1765, and Hans Michael Ittig, jr., and Jacob Ittigh were 
patentees of Staley's first and second tracts, granted in 1755. The 
name is still extant in the county. 

The Fols (or Folts) Family. — Jacob Fols, a patentee, took lot 3 on 
the south side of the river and a short distance east of Frankfort village, 
and Melgert (now Melchert) took lots 2, high and low land, on the 
north side. Their descendants still live near the original seat. Two of 
this name (spelled Volts) were first lieutenants in the fourth battalion 
of the county militia in 1775. Mich. Folts's name is on the roll of vol- 
unteers with Colonel Nicholson. Warner F"olts was a descendant of 
Jacob F'ols, the patentee ; was a member of Assembly in 1824, and a 
worthy citizen and farmer. Melchert Folts, a son of one of the patent- 


ees, was paymaster of the militia regiment commanded by Col. Henri 
Staring, 1786; was elected the first town clerk of Herkimer in March, 
1789; was also a justice of the peace. He was born May 5, 1746, and 
died May 2, 1829 

The Fox FiDuily. — Christopher I'^ox was a patentee who took a lot 
in the vicinity of the stone church, German Flats, and his descendants 
still live in the county. Frederick was a son of Christopher ; wasafijst 
lieutenant in Captain George Herkheimer's company, Fourth battalion 
of county militia. In 1786 Peter Fox was commissioned ensign in Cap- 
tain Peter P. Belhnger's company of Colonel Staring's regiment. 

The Hclmcr Family. — The name of Helmer is still found in Herki- 
mer and adjoining counties. Of the six patentees of the name in the 
grant of 1725, two were married women whose husbands were then liv- 
ing. Philip and Frederick were probably children of the other grantees. 
Lendert Helmer, one of the original patentees of Burnetsfield, was also 
grantee of lots 13, 21 and 38, in the grant of 1739, called Glen's pur- 
chase. John Adam Helmer, with two others, was sent to Fort Schuy- 
ler on the day before the Oriskany battle to warn Colonel Gansevoort 
of General Herkimer's approach. Captain Frederick Helmer, of Col- 
onel Peter Bellinger's regiment, was killed at Oriskany. John Helmer 
has already been mentioned as one of the four men sent out to' watch 
Brant's movements at Unadilla, and was the only one of the four tore- 
turn, the others having been killed. The family of Burnetsfield patent- 
ees were Palatine immigrants, but whether of the party of 17 10 or of 
171 1, is not known. 

The Erghemar (or Herkimer) Family. — This family early exhibited 
evidence of wealth and thrift far ahead of any other of the Palatine set- 
tlers in the erection of fine stone dwellings and the possession of broad 
domains purchased after the Burnet grant. Jurgh, Johan Jost, Mada- 
lana and Catharine Erghemar were each patentees under the Burnets- 
field grant. One hundred acres on the south side of the Mohawk was 
allotted to each of them. Judge Benton could obtain no reliable in- 
formation as to Jurgh, or George, Herkimer, and moreover asks the 
question : " Was the Catharina named in the patent and who drew lot 
No. 5, on or near which the former county poor-house was erected, the 
wife of Johan Jost?" adding, " If Jurgh and Johan Jost were not 


brothers, the conclusion seems to be that Johan Jost, subsequently 
known as Hanyost Herkimer, the eider, was the son of Jurgh. If Johan 
Jost was married in 1725, the date of the patent, he probably had no 
children to whom lands could be granted according to its terms. The 
fact is well known that lands were granted to children whose fathers and 
mothers are named as patentees. Madalana and Catharina are not 
described as married women, and may have been sisters of Hanyost the 
elder ; if this be the true solution of this matter, they probably died 
unmarried, or sold their interest in the lands allotted to them, for we find 
some of the same lands in the possession of Hanyost the elder, in April, 
1 77 I. This Hanyost left a grandson, born in October, 175 i, who was 
the issue of his second son, Henry." 

This name, like many others of the Palatines, has undergone numer- 
ous changes in spelling. In 1775 the family was numerous and influ- 
ential and generally friendly to the popular cause ; all, excepting the 
general, were residents of the German Flats district. The patentee, 
Jurgh (or George), left no descendants, unless Johan Jost and one or 
both of the females named were his children, or they left this part of the 
country before the Revolution. There is no information left of any 
persons of that name except those who trace their descent from Hanyost 
Herkimer, the elder. 

General Nicholas Herkimer was the eldest son of Johan Jost Herkimer, 
who was one of the Burnetsfield patentees and drew lot No. 36, and also 
one of the patentees of the Fall Hill tract granted in 1752 to Johan Jost 
llerchkeimer and Hendrick Herchkeirher. Nicholas Herkimer was 
commissioned lieutenant in Capt. William Wormwood's company of the 
Schenectady battalion on the 5th of January, 1758. He commanded 
at Fort Herkimer in 1758, when the French and Indians attacked the 
settlement on the south side of the river. On the 5th of September, 
1776, he was commissioned a brigadier- general. At the commence- 
ment of the Revolution he lived in the Canajoharie district and repre- 
sented that district in the county committee of safety. He acted as 
chairman pro tern, of the Tryon county committee of safety in July and 
August, 1775. In 1760, while he resided in the Canajoharie district, 
his father convej'ed to him 500 acres of land, portions of the Lindsay, Liv- 
ingston and Fall Hill patents, with a small island in the river. There 


the family mansion was erected, substantially as it stands to-day. He 
was an early advocate of the rights of the colonists, with the others of 
his family, excepting his brother Hanyost, who was attainted under the 
act of 1779. General Herkimer's part in the military operations of the 
Revolution have already been described in a general way, and it only 
remains for us to allude to the charges of cowardice or inefficiency that 
were made against him on account of the battle of Oriskany. When 
General Herkimer was hastening by forced marches and with a small 
body of undisciplined militia, to the relief of Fort Schuyler, he sent a 
messenger to Colonel Gansevoort in the fort to arrange for co-opera- 
tion in the expected battle, a sally from the fort to be made upon a pre- 
concerted signal. The messenger failed to reach the fort in time. Gen- 
eral Herkimer's force was not sufficient to warrant him in bringing on a 
battle without support and aid ; but on the morning of August 6, while 
awaiting the signal of the sortie from the fort, several of the general's 
officers and some of the committee of safety urged an immediate advance. 
In deference to their continued entreaties he finally held a council of his 
principal officers, whom he warned of the folly of bringing on a battle 
with the force at their command. The officers would not listen and 
some of them went so far as to charge him with cowardice or toryism. 
Insulted beyond forbearance, General Herkimer told them that he was 
entrusted with the care of his soldiers as well as with their leadership, 
and that he could not place them in a position in which his judgment 
told him they would be uselessly slaughtered ; he also intimated that 
those who were now taunting him, would be the first to fly in action — a 
prophecy which was fulfilled. To end the clamor he at last gave the 
order to march. The consequences are well known and have been re- 
corded on the pages of every history of Revolutionary battles. The 
general was grievously wounded early in the engagement, but continued 
to command his men until the end, when he was carried from the field. 
His conduct after he received his wound was such as should, and it does, 
surround his name with a halo of honor and renown. General Herkimer 
died from hemorrhage following the amputation of his leg in his own 
home. When he became convinced that his hours on earth were 
numbered he called for his Bible and read to those around him the 38th 
Psalm. His loss was deeply deplored by the inhabitants of Tryon county. 
In October following his death the Continental Congress passed a reso- 



lution appropriating $500 for the erection of a monument to his mem- 
ory, and in conniuinicaling this action to the governor of New York 
the Congress said : " Every mark of distinction shown to the memory 
of such illustrious men as offer up their hves for the liberty and happi- 
ness of this country, reflects real honor on those who pay the grateful 
tribute ; and by holding up to others the prospect of fame and immor- 
tality, will animate them to tread in the same path." The resolution 
passed by Congress has never been carried into effect. The Oneida 
Historical Society, of Utica, however, is making an effort to secure the 
passage of a bill by the Stale Legislature for an appropriation to im- 
prove the ground and erect a monument to mark the place where the 
body of General Merkimer is buried This is a matter which concerns 
every patriotic person, for General Herkimer won the pivotal battle of 
the Revolution. His body now lies in a pasture in the town of Danube, 
midway between Little Falls and Indian Castle. The surroundings are 
unfit, and the stone which marks the grave is not such as should grace 
the resting place of the hero of Oriskany. 

On yonder well-remembered hill, 

Scarred and neglected, old and grey. 
Rises the house, recalling still 

The story of that bloody day. 
Deep, clear and beautifully bright. 

Through fields of waving grass and grain. 
Like silver flashing in the light. 

The Mohawk flows across the plain. 

Hail, Mohawk winding through the dale ! 

Hail, fairest stream in lovely York ! 
The farms and homes in thy sweet vale 

Ring with the harvest song ! hush I mark 
Yon close of hallowed ground ! there lies 

The hero Herkimer who gave 
His blood for liberty ; there rise 

The mound, the stone above his grave. 

Into a deep and dark ravine, 

By the Oriskany, he led 
His band. Sudden from out the green 

Wood all about uprose the dread, 
Painted, red-Indian, ^-ell on yell. 

And in the deadly ambuscade. 
Like the mown grass, his cohorts fell 

Bleeding beneath the reeking blade. 

Lo ! lowering in the sullen sky. 

Black storm-clouds gathered, thick and fast. 
And Hghtning flashes from on high 

Foretold the fury of the blast. 
It broke ; the thunder, peal on peal, 

Roared high above the horrid din 
Of cannon and the clash of steel. 

Loud echoing through the blood-stained glen 

Then thrice from out the dark morass, 

Above that fearful roar, the cheer 
Uprose; but Herkimer, alas! 

Fell foremost fighting. He did hear 
That shout of victory where he lay 

Stretched death-white on the gory ground. 
His life's blood ebbing fast away. 

And, dying, knew what meant that sound. 

On many another blood-red field, 

For truth and liberty, our brave 
Fathers did fight and never yield : 

They struck for freedom or the grave. 
And freedom gained: Columbia 's free ; 

Her flag floats o'er her mountain heights. 
And on the land, and on the sea. 

Guards well a nation's dear-bought rights. 

Frank H. Willarp 

' During the battle of Oriskany, when the utter annihilation of General Herkimer's troops 
seemed almost inevitable, a furious storm arose. The enemy fled for shelter, while the Americans, 
occupying a strong position, formed themselves so as to be able to hold victorious possession of 

the field. 


General Herkimer was twice married.' Hi.s will was proved Octo- 
ber 4, 1783, with George Herkimer as administrator. The "home 
place " was devised to his younger brother George, and he was consti- 
tuted his residuary legatee. The latter lived until 17S6, and left seven 
children. Various members of the families descended from the Herki- 
mers live in different parts of the country, but not one of the name is 
now resident in Herkimer county. 

John Herkimer, son of George, inherited, with his brothers and 
sisters, the estate devised by General Herkimer and occupied the 
family mansion until about 1814. He was an active politician; repre- 
sented Montgomery county in the State Assembly and after the town 
of Danube was annexed to Herkimer county, was appointed one of the 
county judges. He was major in a regiment of volunteers in the last 
war with England and served at Sackett's Harbor. He was elected to 
Congress in 1822 and was an efficient member of that body. He died at 
his residence in Danube at the age of seventy-three years, leaving no 
male descendants. 

The Her ter Family. — The lands allotted to Apolone and Lawrence 
Herter were on the south side of the river, but some of the family re- 
moved to the north side in early years Some of the family were at the 
Great Flats at the time of the French expedition in 1757, where one of 
the Herters was taken prisoner with his wife and children and carried 
to Canada, where they were kept about a year. A daughter born to 
Mrs. Herter while crossing the St. Lawrence river in a birch-bark 
canoe, afterwards became the wife of Michael Myers. Henry Herter 
was appointed first lieutenant in Capt. Frederick Bellinger's company 
of militia in 1775. Nicholas and Philip Herter settled in Deerfield, 
Oneida county, after the Revolution. Numerous descendants of this 
family are still residents of Herkimer county. 

The Hess Family. — Augustine Hess was the patentee of lot No. 10 at 
Little Falls. Previous to and during the Revolutionary period the 
name was quite numerous in the Mohawk valley. Augustine Hess, a 
son of the patentee, was a member of the Tryon county committee of 
safety from the Kingsland and German Flats districts. The elder Au- 

' The late Samuel Earl wrote of the general as follows ; "The general was a kind hearted and 
benevolent man and a good Christian neighbor. He was iust such a character as would make him 
beloved by those who knew him. He was without guile or deceit, generous, brave and honest." 


gustine was a patentee, also, of Staley's first and second tracts ; he was 
killed in July, 1782, by the Indians near Fort Herkimer, while on his 
way to the fort with his family. 

The Kast Family — Johan Jurgh Kast and his son of the same name 
were patentees and each drew a small lot on the Great Flats and seventy 
acre lots on the uplands, in the Burnetsfield tract. In 1724 a grant of 
r,ioo acres was made to the wife and children of the elder Kast, situ- 
ated in Schuyler and surrounded by Cosby's manor ; descendants of 
the family lived there many years. Besides Johan Jurgh, the elder Kast 
had a son Lodovvick. Johan Jurgh, the younger, had two sons, Conrad 
and Frederick. The former was taken prisoner in 1757, carried to 
England, and after his exchange and return to New York, enlisted in 
the British army and never returned to the Mohawk vallej'. Descend- 
ants of Frederick still live in Herkimer county. 

The Petrie Family. — Johan Jost Petrie was one of the Burnetsfield 
patentees and lands were allotted to him, to his wife, Gertrude, and to 
his son Mark (or Marks). The name occurs among those who volun- 
teered for Colonel Nicholson's expedition. The patentee came over 
with the second company of Palatines in 1710 and came to German 
Flats from Livingston's manor. He and Coenradt Rickert were the 
prominent and leading men of the little colony which first settled here. 
He was named first in the license given by Governor Burnet to purchase 
the Indian title to the lands afterwards granted, and also the first named 
in the patent. The eighty-six acre lot, long known as the Stone Ridge, 
was allotted to his wife. The present village of Herkimer is large- 
ly situated on this lot. Surrounded by rich flat lands subject to in- 
undations, settlers expressed their dissatisfaction when they learned 
that safe building lots could be had only on this ridge, and Mr. 
Petrie therefore generously divided the large lot into smaller parcels 
and gave them to the owners of the adjoining low lands. When the 
French and Indians destroyed the settlements on the north side of 
the river, November 11, 1757, all his property save the land was taken 
and destroyed and he and his family carried into captivity. He was the 
person named in the French account of that raid as "the mayor of the 
villatje of the Palatines." Mr. Petrie remained some time in captivity. 
He was one of the co-patentees with Philip Livingston and John De 


Peysterof a grant of 6,ooo acres of land made in 1740, comprising six 
lots in a tract called Henderson's or Petrie's purchase, lying in the pres- 
ent towns of Columbia and Warren. He died before the beginning of 
the Revolutionary War, leaving a large number of descendants, and 
nearly all of the people of this name in the county trace their lineage 
to him. John Petrie, a son of the patentee, was a member of the Tryon 
county committee from the German Flats and Kingsland districts 
which met in June, 1775. He was also appointed by the Tryon 
county committee August 16, 1779, one of the delegates from the 
county to a State convention called to consider measures " for appre- 
ciating the currency, restraining e.Ktortion, regulating prices, and other 
similar purposes." A commission is in existence issued to Ded'k 
Marcus Petrie, gentleman, dated October 13, 1768, by which Mr. Petrie 
was appointed " to be Ensign of a company of Militia Foot in a regi- 
ment in Albany county, of which company George Henry Bell esq. is 
captain." Mr. Petrie held this commission until the country changed 
rulers, when he was appointed a lieutenant in the Tryon county militia. 
He was killed in the battle of Oriskany while serving in Col. Peter Bell- 
inger's regiment. John M. Petrie, assemblyman in 1808-9, was a 
nephew of Lieutenant Petrie, the son of the patentee, Mark Petrie, and 
consequently grandson of the original settler, Johan Jost. John M. 
occupied for some time the Burnetsfield lot No. 46, and afterwards 
changed his residence to a farm on Glen's purchase a few miles 
north of Little Falls, where he died respected by the community. 
There were two brothers, sons of Ded'k Marcus Petrie, named Jost D. 
and John D., who were prosperous farmers and land owners and left 
their estates to their children. Daniel Petrie, a member of this family, 
was killed at the destruction of the Little Falls mill, in 1782, as before 
described. Many descendants of the Petrie family still reside in this 
county. (See history of the town of Herkimer.) 

The Reek (or Reall) Family. — Lot No. 15, lowland (thirty acres), 
and lot No, 15, woodland (seventy acres) at the German Flats were 
granted to Godfrey Reele, jr. Christian Reall settled near Deerfield 
Corners, Oneida county, with several other Germans, before the Revolu- 
tion. In the second year of the war the settlement was destroyed, but 
the inhabitants escaped to a stockade near by. After the war Mr. Reall 


returned to Deerfield. Not long afterward most or all of the survivors 
of the family removed to what is now Onondaga county. One member 
of the family afterward returned and lived in Little Falls. The name 
was never numerous in the county. 

The Shoemakers — Ludolph (afterwards called Rudolph) and Thomas 
Shoemaker were patentees, and both of them were young and unmar- 
ried when they came to German Fiats. Rudolph had several sons, one 
of whom, Johan Jost, married the daughter of an Englishman n;imed 
Smith, the fame of whose eccentricities and devotion to the British 
crown still occupies considerable space in the unwritten history of the 
valley. Johan Jost had been one of his majesty's justices of the peace 
in Tryon county and was not friendly to the colonists ; but he was not 
molested in person or property, leading to the conclusion that he was a 
passive, rather than an active adherent to royalty. Judge Benton said : 
" With the exception of one member of the Herkimer family, I do not 
find any other name of note belonging to the Palatine emigrants or their 
descendants who faltered in their duty to their country and the cause of 
humanity." Rudolph L. Shoemaker, member of Assembly from this 
county in 1812-13, was a son of Johan Jost. He was a farmer and 
lived and died in the present town of German Flats, not far from the 
site of the village of Mohawk. He was a warm supporter of the War of 
1812. Robert Shoemaker, a younger brother of Rudolph L., was ap- 
pointed sheriff of the county in 18 17 and held the office several years; 
he was a prompt and efficient officer. He also represented the county in 
the Assembly in 1822. Late in life he removed with his family to 
Illinois and died there. Thomas Shoemaker, the patentee, had a nu- 
merous family, among whom was a son of the same name, who partici- 
pated in the battle of Oriskany, and afterwards his wife and one of his 
children (Christopher) and a son of John Shoemaker, then quite young, 
were taken prisoners and carried to Canada. There are now many 
descendants of the Shoemaker families in Herkimer county. 

The Smith Family. — The Schmidts were among the cmigiants of 
i/ioandfora time remained at the camps on Livingston's manor. 
Four of the name came to the Great t'lats, two of wiioin settled on the 
north side and two on the south side of the river. Adam Michael 
Schmidt was one of the volunteers with Colonel Nicholson in 1711. 


Descendants of the patentees were for many years quite numerous in 
the county, but many removed to otht^ localities. Colonel Nicholas 
Smith, a prominent resident of Utica in recent years, lost his parents at 
the hands of Indians and tories during the Revolution. In common with 
the other patentees of Burnetsfield, the family felt its share of suffering 
during that struggle. 

The Starings. — There were six males and one married female of this 
name among the Burnetsfield patentees. The name was once numer- 
ous in the county. Hendrick Staring (who often wrote his name 
Henri) was a man of some note in the Revolution and substquently. A 
native of the county, he lived and died within the limits of the present 
town of Schuyler. He was one of the few survivors of the Oriskany 
battle and from that time held prominent office in the militia of the dis- 
trict, soon attainingthe rank of colonel. Late in the fall of 1781 he was 
so unfortunate as to be surrounded and captured near Fort Herkimer, 
with Abraham Wollever, by a party of Indians. Believing it was the 
intention of his captors to put him to death by torture, the colonel 
managed to effect his escape during the first night after he was taken 
and returned to the fort after an absence of two days and nights. He 
lived near the small stream known as Staring's Creek, in Schuyler, on 
which there was a grist-mill which, it will be remembered, was burned by 
the French and Indians in 1757, was rebuilt and again destroyed dur- 
ing the Revolution. Though of limited education. Colonel Staring was 
a man of thrift, became owner of large landed estates, and was conspic- 
uous for his general intelligence and good judgment. After the estab- 
lishment of peace, he was a member of the convention from Montgom- 
ery county, called in 1788, to consider the United States constitution, 
which had been submitted to the several States for ratification. He was 
an ardent friend of Governor Clinton, who, with a large majority of the 
convention when elected, were opposed to the ratification of the con- 
stitution, and it is supposed that he voted that way. Upon the organ- 
ization of Herkimer county in 179 1 Colonel Staring was appointed first 
judge of the court of Common Pleas, and held the office many years. 
Many curious and amusing stories have been told of the methods of 
administering justice followed by Judge Staring ; but he was an honest, 
straightforward man and filled his position for the good of the com- 


munity, if not always according to the acknowledged proprieties of the 
bench. The judge died in the town of Schuyler, leaving male and 
female descendants. His wife was a daughter of Johan Jurgh Kast, and 
through her he obtained title to about 600 acres of the Kast patent, 
which he left to his children. 

The Temojttli Family. — This name appears in the Palatine records 
as Demot and Demouth, and others not accustomed to the German 
method of spelling often wrote the name Damewood. John Jost parted 
with the lot of land granted him at Little Falls before the Revolution, 
and probably before 1757, as no trace of the family is found near 
that place. During the Revolution, the Demouths were in the vicinity 
of Herkimer. Captain Demouth was with John Adam Helmer in the 
dangerous service of carrying a message to Colonel Gansevoort during 
t!ie siege of Fort Schuyler, as before related. After the close of the 
war some of the Demouths migrated to Onondaga county with the 
Realls. There are very few of the name now resident in this county. 

The Welleven {or Wol/eaver) Family. — This name is written VVoll- 
eben and Wohleben in the list of heads of Palatine families on the west 
side of the Hudson in 1710. Nicholas W. was a patentee in Burnets- 
field and also in Staley's first and second tracts, and died in 1773, 
leaving six sons, Henry, Peter, Richard, John, Abraham and Jacob ; 
and six daughters, Catharine, wife of Frederick Shoemaker ; Mary 
Sophia, wife of Peter Flagg ; Elizabeth, wife of Frederick Schute ; 
Lany, wife of Frederick Bellinger; and Hannah, wife of John Emgie, 
or Empie, who was a tory and went witli his family to Canada. Richard, 
John, Peter, and Abraham were in the battle at Oriskany ; the two 
former were killed, the others returning, Peter with a .slight wound. 
Peter was one of the party in the Little Falls mill when it was burned, 
and made his escape. Peter Wolleaver lived on the farm in Manheim 
afterward known as the Christy place, which he hired of Joseph 
Brant, the Mohawk chief When the chief sent word to him in 1777 
that he would come and tomahawk him if he did not immediately 
leave the farm, Wolleaver removed to Fort Herkimer with his family 
in the fall of that year, and remained there until the close of the war. 
He had three sons who reached manhood, Nicholas, John and Henry. 
His daughters were Elizabeth, wife of Frederick Shoemaker ; Cath- 


arine, wife of Garret Van Slyke ; Susan, wife of Jacob Edick ; Han- 
nah, who married a Mr. Furman ; Mary, wife of Mr. White, and Eva 
who married Stanton Fox. Abraham Wolleaver, one of the patentee's 
sons, was taken prisoner in October, 178 1, with Henry Staring near 
Fort Herkimer ; was knocked down soon afterward, tomahawked and 
scalped by his captors and left, while they went on with their other 
prisoner towards Oneida. Abraham survived his terrible injuries; was 
out two nights, his feet being frozen, and near sunset of the third day 
was brought to the fort. He lived a number of years afterward. 

The Wever {or Weaver) Family. — This name appears on the Living- 
ston's manor lists as Weber and Webber. Jacob and Nicholas were 
among the volunteers in the Montreal expedition of 171 1. Peter J. 
Weaver was an ensign in 1775 in the Fourth battalion of militia of the 
county. Some of the family settled in Deerfield, Oneida county, in 
1773. George L. Weaver was taken prisoner during the Revolution 
and held in captivity about two years, suffering much inhuman treat- 
ment. Four hundred acres of land were assigned to this family, two 
hundred on the north and two hundred on the south side of the river. 
Descendants of the family still reside in the county. 

This chapter may be fittingly concluded with the words of the late 
Chancellor Haven in speaking of the men who fought the battle of 
Oriskany: " Tlie men who fought this battle were good specimens of 
a peculiar people. They had been sifted out of Europe by a process 
of natural and gracious selection. They came across the ocean — or 
their fathers and mothers did — not for money, but for liberty and 
religion. They lived in log houses, but they went to log churches 
and their children to log school-houses. They ate from wooden 
dishes and were clad in homespun, but they read the Bible and gov- 
erned themselves. They had wooden plows and used sickles instead 
of reaping machines, and their only sewing machines were their 
mothers and wives and sweethearts ; but these could put a music into 
their rural life far better than the noise of the modern machine. There 
was not a pauper nor an ignoramus among them. They were the hap- 
piest and the best people on earth. Such a people fought the battle 
of Oriskany — nay, the battle of freedom for all mankind." 




WITH the dawn of peace and the return of prisoners and refugees, 
industry and resultant prosperity and contentment settled down 
upon the Mohawk valley. The same spirit of patriotic determination 
which had impelled the settlers to risk their lives and endure suffering 
and loss for the permanent establishment of homes in a free country, 
now enabled them to take up with renewed energy the tilling of their 
farms, the building of mills, the construction of roads and other labors 
for the development of their chosen valley. 

In early times, before the Revolution, the road through the valley 
came into what is now Herkimer county from the west, on the south side 
of the Mohawk, and continued on to Canajoharie. At a distance of 
fifteen miles from Fort Herkimer a road crossed the river and continued 
on eastward on the north bank. The river served for many years as a 
waterway for the transportation of freight and passengers in large fiat 
boats, called bateaux. But this mode of travel was greatly interfered 
with by the rapids at Little Falls, a fact that led in 1792 to the incor- 
poration of the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company. After the 
full organization of this company, about thirty directors pushed ahead 
the contemplated work, and four years later the canal around the falls 
was finished, another across the portage at Rome, with various improve- 
ments in Wood Creek and the Oneida, Seneca and Oswego Rivers. 
The engraving, " Little Falls in 1892" printed in the history of that 
town in later pages, shows the course of the canal and the location of 
the locks at Little Falls. Much of the masonry built at that point 
a hundred years ago is still in good preservation. This improvement 
was of immense benefit in opening up the country and it was esti- 
mated about the year 1812 that three hundred boats with 1,500 tons 
of meicliandiSc pa scil through the canal at the Rome portage in a 
single year. After the enlargement of the locks the boats carried 


twenty tons or more in high water, and half as much at other times. 
Tliese craft were known as Durham boats, were low and open, with 
a walking board along the gunwale. They were propelled by means 
of long poles thrust into the river bottom and pushed with the shoul- 
ders of men who walked from end to end of the boat. A Schenec- 
tady paper of 1803 in describing one of the boats said: "She is 
sixty-three feet keel, eleven feet wide, and two feet three inches deep. 
When loaded she draws two feet of water and will carry twenty - 
four tons. She now brought down 250 bushels of wheat and will next 
trip bring 800." 

Previous to the Revolution, and perhaps after that event, many roads 
were not fenced and had gates across them at the crossing of farm lines. 
The late Samuel Earl said that there was such a road in earlj' times on 
the south side of the river where the public road now is, and one across 
the flats between l""orts Herkimer and Dayton, called the King's road ; 
this extended west over " Oak Hill " and thence to Oswego. 

Regarding this road an interesting letter has been found among the 
papers of the late Mr Earl, from which it appears that Sir William 
Johnson wrote John Jost Herkimer, John Jost Petrie, and John Conrad 
Frank, on the 22d of July, 1756, in regard to their aiding in opening 
the road. A reply fiom Herkimer and Frank is as follows : 

Hon. Sir. 

We have the honour of yours of the 22d ulli'o about laying out a road from here 
to Oswego, throu' the Si.v Nations, and as for my part, Han Yost Petri, I am old, and 
lame in one of my hips, jmd it is not in my power to undertake any such fatigue, and 
tor me, Jost Herkimer, I dare not leave my house upon account of the military for 
they terrorize over me as they think proper, wether the commander or tlie common sol- 
diers, in short they take a prerogative power in their own hands — not only in infesting 
mv and taking up niy rooms at pleasure, but take what they think necessary of 
my effects for their own use without asking. And if such doings is allowed to go on, 
not only I and my family must suffer, but also all my neighbors. 

And as for my part, Coniad I'Vank, it is not possible for me to undertake it upon ac- 
count of soldiers * * for my house is full either of one sort or another, and within 
this short lime have suffered considerable by the soldiers of Capt. Harris command, 
for they not only use my house as they thought proper, but likewise tocik whatever of my 
live cattle they thought proper fir their use, without either asking liherly or paying me 
for tlieir value, and .supposing I .should undertake such a thing and U^ave my house, I must 
I imagine never see eitiier my wife or children again ; and notwithstanding all the en- 
deavors we and all of us have made we could not find anyone that would undertake 


such a piece of work. Aud although we and all of us would be ready and willing to 
do anything that would tend to his majesties honor or the good of our country, yet as 
matters stand we must be excused. We remain with due regard Hon. Sir, 

Your Hum. and obedient serv'ts, 

John Jost Herkimer. 

John Conrad Frank. 

In April, 1790, the State appropriated ;^iOO "for the ptirpose of 
erecting a bridge across the East Canada Creek, not exceeding tliree 
miles from the mouth thereof, upon the road from the Mohawk River to 
the Royal Grant." Three years later the Legislature provided for the 
erection of a bridge over East Canada Creek, " nearly opposite the 
Canajoharie Castle, on the public road leading from Tribes Hill to the 
Little Falls ; " and another over the West Canada Creek " on the public 
road or highway leading from the Little Falls to Fort Stanwix." A still 
more important improvement was made through the charter of a com- 
pany in April, 1800, for the construction of the Mohawk turnpike along 
the north bank of the river from Schenectadj' to Utica. The work was 
done within the next few years, under the direction of Seth Wetmore, 
a surveyor, who died in Canajoharie in 1836. This road became a part 
of the great east and west highway from Albany to Buffalo. These 
means of transportation sufficed for the inhabitants until the construc- 
tion of the Erie canal in 1825. 

Other highways that passed through parts of this county and were of 
considerable importance to the inhabitants, were the State road, so 
called because it was constructed by the State through the medium of 
a lottery, authorized in 1803, to raise $41,500. This road ran from 
Johnstown through the Black River country to Sackett's Harbor, pass- 
ing through parts of Manheim, Salisbury, and the towns of Norway and 
Russia. The road was much used in the early years of the present 

In 1804 the Fall Hill Turnpike and Bridge Company was incorpo- 
rated and authorized to build a toll bridge over the Mohawk River 
at Little Falls, and construct a road from the house of Ira Crane in 
Minden, Montgomery county, to the Mohawk River, thence along the 
river 'o Henry A. Vrooman's in German Flats, and thence to Samuel 
Abbott's house and Kassler's Mills. The principal object of this road 


was to avoid climbing the steeps at Fall Hill. The bridge was erected 
and used many years, but the road was not constructed. 

In the year iSo6 coinmissioncrs were appointed to lay out and 
straighten the road on the south side of the Mohawk River from Sche- 
nectady to Utica, wherever it seemed expedient. The towns through 
which this highway passed were required to work it and keep it in 

The Great Western Turnpike passed through the southeast corner of 
the town of Warren, a distance of a few miles, but did not touch the 
Mohawk valley. 

The Minden and Utica Turnpike Company was incorporated in 
1809, the line designated to pass through the present towns of Stark, 
Warren, Columbia, Litchfield and the southwest corner of Frankfort. 
Parts of this turnpike were finished and one or more gates erected for 
collection of tolls, but it was abandoned many years ago. 

In 1834 Colonel Jeremiah Drake projected a railroad to connect with 
the Utica and Schenectady line about two miles east of Little Falls, and 
running northerly a distance of about fifteen miles in this county. The 
incorporation act was passed, surveys made, etc., the route to pass 
through Manheim Center, Wintonville and Salisbury Center to Dever- 
eaux. Failing to interest capitalists in the project, Colonel Drake was 
forced to abandon it. (See account of Little Falls and Dolgeville Rail- 

It was over these early higliways that the great stage business of that 
period was conducted ; and even after the later construction of the 
canal and railroad, it was several years before those more modern and 
rapid methods of travel could displace the four horse coaches to which 
the people had become accustomed. One of the earliest as well as most 
successful of the old stage managers was Jason Parker, of Utica, with 
his later partners. He began running a stage between Albany and old 
Fort Schuyler in August, 1795, and thus announced his undertaking: 
"The mail leaves Whitestown every Monday and Thursday at 2 o'clock 
p. m., and proceeds to Old Fort Schuyler the same evening; next 
morning starts at 4 o'clock and arrives in Canajoharie in the evening, 
exchanges passengers with the Albany and Cooperstown stages, and 
the next day returns to Old Fort Schuyler. Fare for passengers, $2.00; 


way passengers, four cents a mile, fourteen pounds of baggage gratis. 
Seats may be had by applying at the post-office, Whitestown, at the 
house of the subscriber, Old Fort Schuylei, or at Captain Root's, Cana- 
joharie " Parker's early experience was not profitable and he had to 
apply to the Legislature in 1797 for aid. By September, 1810, greater 
expedition was attained on this route and a daily line of stages passed 
over the road. In 1810-11 Joshua Ostroni and his partners, also of 
Utica, came into competition with Parker and announced that a new 
line of steamboat stages would leave Albany Monday and Friday, and 
Utica Monday and Thursday. These trips were made more often a 
little later and the competition between the lines became exceedingly 
active. Parker & Powell announced in 1811 : " Eight changes of horses. 
The mail stage now leaves Bagg's, Utica, every morning at 4 o'clock. 
Passengers will breakfast at Maynard's, Herkimer, dine at Josiah Shep- 
ard's. Palatine, and sup (on oysters) at Thomas Powell's Tontine Coffee 
House, Schenectady. The ladies and gentlemen who will favor this 
line with their patronage may be assured of having good horses, attent- 
ive drivers, warm carriages, and that there shall not be any running 
or racing of horses on the line." 

Then the rivals, unencumbered by mails, announced themselves 
ready to " go through in one day, unless the extreme badness of 
the traveling rendered it utterly impossible." Moreover passengers 
were to "have the liberty of breakfasting, dining and supping where, 
when and on what they please. No more than eight passengers unless 
by unanimous consent." 

The year 1825 saw the establishment of the county poor-house in 
Herkimer. The board of supervisors met on the 5th of May at Her- 
kimer and appointed Abijah Beckwith, of Columbia, Robert Shoe- 
maker, of German Flats, and William Griswold, of Fairfield, a com- 
mittee to examine into the subject. This committee reported before 
the end of that month, and the supervisors thereupon resolved to 
purchase for the sum of $2,000 a house and land in the German Flats, 
near the line of the canal. Samuel Etheridge and Gideon Johnson 
were appointed to negotiate the purchase, and Rudolph J. Shoemaker, 
Alfred Putnam, Lauren P'ord, John B. Dygert, and Caleb Budlong, 
superintendents. The clerk was notified that as soon as the proper 


officers had taken possession of the house, to publish the fact in the 
Herkimer paper. On the i6th of November, 1827, the supervisors 
resolved to aboh'sh the distinction between the town and the county 
poor Up to that time each town had supported its own poor at the 
county house; but tlie plan was not a successful one. On the i6th of 
December, 1827, tlie supervisors resolved to ask the Legislature for 
authority to sell the poor-house property and purchase a more suitable 
piece of land and erect buildings thereon for the future reception of 
paupers. The required law was passed, but no immediate action was 
taken under it. Although a little out of its chronological order, the 
later history of the poor-house may as well be given here. In 1837 
the matter of disposing of the poor-house was again agitated, although 
at the annual meeting of that year the superintendents were author- 
ized to purchase a part of the Steele farm for the use of the 
county, which was subsequently effected. The discussion of sale and 
change of location continued through 1839 and 1840, and further laws 
on the subject were passed by the Legislature. In 1842 the superin- 
tendents authorized the supervisors to sell the house and land adjoining 
for $500, and in 1844 the Legislature vested in the board of supervisors 
full power to Fell out the old establishment, purchase a new site and 
erect suitable buildings. It is clear that it was high time such action 
was taken. Yet for nearly three years the subject was actively dis- 
cussed before a majority of the supervisors made a final disposition of 
it. The difficulty was to reconcile the different factions in the board 
to a new location, some wanting it on the south side of the river, 
while others wished it taken from the vicinity of the canal. In January, 
1846, the board fixed upon a new site (the present one) by a vote of 
10 to 9; on the 17th of March 1846, the board sanctioned the con- 
tract for the new buildings made by the commissioners and George W. 
Alton, George Rurch and Cornelius E. T. Van Home superintended 
the erection of the new buildings. They are located in the town of 
Herkimer, about two miles south of Middleville, on the west side of the 
West Canada Creek, and arc commodious and convenient for their 

The Asiatic cholera visited this country in 1832-34 and in many 
localities was the cause of great fatality, anxiety and actual panic. 


Although the disease found its way westward from New York and 
Albany, following to some extent the line of the Erie canal, Herkimer 
county almost entirely escaped its ravages. This fortunate circumstance 
is doubtless due to there being no large city in the county, the general 
healthfulness of the locality and the favorable sanitary conditions then 
existing. The disease gained a foothold in Utica and Syracuse, as well 
as at other prominent centers ; but the smaller places and country 
districts almost wholly escaped. 

During the period between 1830 and i860, the development of the 
dairy industry in this country was especially marked. Farmers learned 
the value of choice stock and the importance of giving their herds the 
best possible care Shippers opened the English market about 1832, 
and extended the distribution of the product to many of the largest 
cities of this country, laying the foundation of the later important in- 
dustry. The progress of dairying in the county is further treated in 
another chapter. 

The Herkimer County Education Society and Teachers' Association 
was organized at Little Falls March 15, 1837, with David Chassell as 
president ; N. S. Benton, John B. Dygert, Thomas Hawks, John Del- 
amater and Henry Ellison, vice-presidents ; James Henry, correspond- 
ing secretary ; E. A. Munson, recording secretary. The organization 
was effected at a meeting of the county convention of the friends of 
education. It was arranged that annual meetings should be held, at 
which addresses should be made and plans laid for the general advance- 
ment of education in the county. The organization was not very 

The State of New York, with many others, had its period of what 
may be termed the plank road mania, beginning in 1847 and continu- 
ing several years. These roads, built at a time when most country 
highways were even much worse than the}' are at the present time, and 
extending into localities where railroads were not likely to go, were of 
considerable benefit, especially to farmers A few of them paid reas- 
onable profits, but more were losing projects and soon were abandoned. 
The first plank road in Herkimer county extended from Mohawk vil- 
lage through Herkimer and Middleville to Newport, along the valley 
of the West Canada Creek. Others were the Little Falls and Middle- 


ville road, connecting those two places; the Manheim and Salisbury, 
connecting Little Falls with Salisbury Four Corners, and afterwards ex- 
tended to Graysville in the northern part of Norway; the Little Falls 
and Salisbury, connecting the former place with Devereaux ; the road 
from Utica passing through Frankfort, Litchfield and West Winfield to 
Unadilla ; the Mohawk and Ilion, connecting those villages ; the Frank- 
fort and Utica, extending from Frankfort village to the west line of the 
county along the line of the canal ; the Ilion and Cedarville, connect- 
ing those two points. And the plank road trom Fort Plain to Coopers- 
town passed through Starkville and Van Hornesville, in the town of 
Stark; the North Gage and Russia road connected Russia with North 
Gage in Oneida county. These once useful highways were, however, 
short-lived, and have now all disappeared. 



THE long reign of prosperous peace in America was rudely closed 
when citizens of Southern States fired the first hostile gun upon 
Fort Sumter in 1861. Almost before the sound of that cannonade had 
died away a tide of patriotic enthusiasm and indignation swept over 
the entire North, and the call to arms found an echo in every loyal 
heart, while thousands sprang forward to offer their services and their 
lives at the altar of their country. 

The history of the civil war has been written and rewritten, and al- 
most every intelligent citizen, young and old, is familiar with the details 
of the great contest. ' Were this not a fact it would still be manifestly 
impossible in a work of this character to follow the course of the various 
campaigns in which Herkimer county soldiers took part, or to trace the 
careers of those brave officers and privates who fell on the field of bat- 
tle. Such historical work must be left to the general historian who has 
unlimited space at his command for the one topic ; and already, as we 
have said, the pages of history are eloquent with records of the battles 


in which Herkimer county men honorably shared, which all may read ; 
while the thousands of volumes that have been published by the State 
and placed in every county clerk's office and elsewhere, contain the ros- 
ters of all New York State organizations that went out to battle for the 
right. It therefore remains for us to give such statistics and informa- 
tion in this connection as bear a local interest, as far as the space at 
command will permit. 

Before the actual outbreak of the rebellion the president issued a 
proclamation calling forth " the militia of the several States of the Union, 
to the aggregate number of 75,000, in order to suppress combinations, 
and to cause the laws to be duly executed." The principal villages of 
Herkimer county became at once centers of military activity. One of 
the first steps taken was to place a guard upon the great armory of the 
Remingtons at llion, which was soon filled with a large force of work- 
men employed day and night. 

On Monday, April 15, 1861, the State Legislature passed a bill ap- 
propriating $3,000,000 and providing for the enrollment of 30,000 men 
to aid the government. The volunteers were to enlist into the State 
service for two years, and to be subject at any time to transfer into the 
Federal service. This measure caused intense excitement and the various 
villages of the county were soon ablaze with military enthusiasm. 

On the 20th of April a great union meeting was held at Little Falls, 
over which Major Z. C. Priest presided. Patriotic speeches were made 
by Hon. A. Loomis, Rev. B. F. McLoughlin, Rev. J. D. Adams, Hon. 
A. H. Laflin, Hon. George A. Hardin, and Arnold Petrie. Resolutions 
were adopted expressive of the patriotism of the people and the deter- 
mination to maintain the government against its enemies, and denounc- 
ing rebellion. Provision was made to raise $5,000 for the relief of 
families of those who might enlist This meeting was followed by a 
similar one at Mohawk, at which large delegations were present from 
Herkimer, llion and elsewhere. Dean Burgess, of Herkimer, presided 
and stirring speeches were made by Hon. J. H. Wooster, of Newport, 
Judge Ezra Graves, of Herkimer, General Prescott, of Mohawk, and 
others. An overflow meeting was held outside of the church, for the 
benefit of those who could not gain admittance, which was addressed 
by Hon. George A. Hardin, and Hon. A. H. Laflin, of Herkimer. 


Resolutions similar to those mentioned were adopted and $1,500 were 
subscribed at once for the relief fund. Military enthusiasm and action 
extended, also, into other parts of the county, and while the last named 
meeting was being held, about fifty persons had already enlisted in the 
towns of Ohio, Norway and Russia; and by the 24th of April seventy 
men had enlisted in Herkimer and more than thirty in Mohawk. 

On the evening of IMay 24 a meeting was held in the court-house to 
formulate a plan for the relief of the families of those who had enlisted. 
It was decided to raise $2,000 on a note payable in one year, to receive 
the signatures of those who were disposed to secure it. A large num- 
ber signed the note and the money was advanced by the Mohawk Val- 
ley Bank. Dean Burgess was made treasurer of the fund, and Ezra 
Graves and H. G. Crouch, with the treasurer, were made an executive 
committee to distribute the money. Similar action was taken at other 
points and together afforded the necessary relief 

By the 8th day of May, 1861, there were six companies of Herkimer 
county men in rendezvous at Albany. These, with one company from 
Essex county, two from Steuben, one from Clinton, and one from 
Albany county, were organized into the Thirty-fourth Regiment of in- 
fantry, afterwards familiarly known as the " Herkimer County Regi- 
ment." Of these companies. Company B was raised in Little Falls, 
Company C at Graysville, Companies F and Gat Herkimer, and Company 
K at Brockett's Bridge (now Dolgeville). The regimental officers 
were : Colonel, William Ladue ; lieutenant-colonel, James Suiter ; 
major, Byron Laflin ; quartermaster, Natlian Easterbrook, jr. ; chaplain, 
J. B. Van Petten ; paymaster, W. H. Wombaugh. The Herkimer 
county companies were officered as follows : 

Company B. — Captain, Wells Sponable ; Ist lieutenant, John Fralick; ensign, Irving 
Delos Clark ; 1st sergeant, Lewis M. Clark ; sergeants, William Orrin Beach, Chauncey 
Petrie and Wallace Zaper ; corporals, Warren Van Allen, Atielbert Perry, Dennis 
Canaan and Edward Redner; musicians, John Apple and John Scheraierhorn. 

Company C. — Captain, Thomas Corcoran; lieutenant, Samuel P. Butler; ensign, 
William S. Burt; 1st sergeant, William Wallace; sergeants, Jacob Ashley, S. S. Walter 
and Charles B. Barton ; corporals, Simon Loyd, Richard Manning, Hanison L. Banks 
and Joshua Sherwood ; musicians, William H. Corp and John H. Guy. 

Company F. — Captain, Charles Riley ; lieutenant, Joseph R. Shoemaker; sergeant.<, 
William R. Van Valkenbuig, Christian Way man and James B. Crist; corporals, 
Charles B. Taylor, John T. Booth, Thomas White anrf Charles Pierce; musicians, David 
M. Heath and Edward White. 


Company G. — Captain, Charles L. Brown ; 1st lieutenant, Warren Mack, jr. ; ensign, 
Michael ShafFner ; 1st sergeant, Joy E. Johnson; 2d sergeant, Albert Arnold; 3d ser- 
geant, James H. Cory ; 4th sergeant, Richard D. Mosher ; 1st corporal, Jeremiah Far- 
rell ; corporals, A. S. Rounds, William Manning and John H. Raynor ; musicians, 
Ezra Dockstater and Nelson Meacham. 

Company K. — Captain, John Beverly ; lieutenant, Henry B. Chamberlin ; ensign, 
Emerson S. Northrup; 1st sergeant, William S. Walton; sergeants, Charles Lasure, 
Benjamin J. Loucks and Romeyn Roof; corporals, William Burns, Henry Traver, John 
Johnson and John Williams ; musicians, Hiram Burk and Eugene Kibbie. 

On account of ill health, Colonel Ladue resigned March 20, 1862, 
and Lieutenant- Colonel Suiter was promoted to the office. He resigned 
January 26, 1863, and was honorably discharged. Lieutenant- Colonel 
Byron Laflin was his successor. The last three companies of Herkimer 
county men left for Albany on the 6th of May. A large gathering of 
people assembled at Herkimer and listened to the patriotic and affect- 
ing words of Judge Graves to the departing soldiers. In the final organ- 
ization at Albany the six Herkimer companies were reduced to five, 
which, with the others named, made ten. On the 25th of May the reg- 
iment was accepted, and June 15 it was mustered into service. On the 
25th of that month a stand of colors was presented to the regiment by 
the ladies of Little Falls, through Horace Burch. On the 2d of July 
the regiment left Albany for Washington on the steamboat Western 
World and two barges ; they arrived at Washington on the 5th, and 
went into camp on Kalorama Heights. On the 28th of July the regiment 
was assigned to picket duty at Seneca Mills, Md., on the Chesapeake 
and Ohio Canal. After doing duty at various stations for short periods, 
among them being Poolesville, Harper's Ferry, Bolivar Heights, Charles- 
town, Berryville and Winchester (arriving just after the close of the bat- 
tle), the regiment reached Yorktown on the 5th of April, 1862. On the 
4th of May they embarked for West Point and on the 6th were engaged 
in the battle at that place, with slight loss. Continuing up the penin- 
sula they went into camp on the Tyler farm and were detailed to bridge 
the Chickahominy. In the succeeding battle of Fair Oaks the regiment 
acted nobly and lost thirty- four killed and sixty-four wounded. On 
the 30th of June they were engaged at Glendale in a part of the "Seven 
Days Fight" and lost thirteen killed and wounded. On the 1st of 
July the regiment reached Malvern Hill and in the battle fought there 
lost thirty-four in killed, wounded and missing, among the killed being 



Major Charles L. Brown. After other operations in that vicinity the 
regiment found itself in its old camp at Harrison's Landing, where tliey 
remained until August 15, removing thence to Newport News, where 
they arrived on the 21st. The movements of the regiment from that 
time until the battle at Antietam were to Alexandria; thence to a point 
near Fort Ethan Allen ; thence to Frederick City, South Mountain and 
Antietam. In that memorable battle the regiment was forced to the 
front, where it narrowly escaped destruction, and lost thirty- two killed, 
109 wounded, and nine missing. From Antietam the regiment went 
to Harper's Ferry, and on the I ith of November was reviewed by Gen- 
eral McClellan for the last time. Next they marched to Falmouth, 
and on December 1 1 reached a point opposite Fredericksburg. Here 
in the engagement that followed they lost thirty- three killed and 
wounded. The regiment went into winter quarters near Falmouth 
January 26, 1863. Its term of service expired on the 8th of June and 
on that day they left for home. They were tendered a reception at 
Herkimer before being mustered out and were given a royal welcome 
on the 27th of June. The men were mustered out on the 30th of June, 
numbering only 400, as against 786 when the organization left for the 

Passing by several organizations in which Herkimer county men en- 
listed, as noted further on, we come to the Ninty-seventh Regiment of 
infantry, in which a large part of five companies were from this county, 
the remainder being largely Oneida county men. The formation of 
this regiment was begun on the i6th of October, 1861, and was of- 
ficered as follows: Colonel, Charles Wheelock ; lieutenant-colonel, J. 
P. Spofiford, of Brockett's Bridge, Herkimer county, promoted to colonel 
in February, 1865; major, Charles Northrup ; adjutant, Charles Buck; 
quartermaster, Joel T. Comstock ; surgeon, N. D. Ferguson; assistant 
surgeon, Aaron Cornish; chaplain, James V. Ferguson. Colonel Whee- 
lock was one of the bravest and most efficient officers that left the State. 
He was captured by the enemy in one of the early engagements of the 
regiment, but made a daring escape. The hardships of army life were 
too severe for his physical frame, and he died at Washington January 
2 1 . 1 865. His remains were brought home to his native town of Boon- 
villc where they received burial with military honors. 


The Ninety-seventh was mustered into service at Boonville on the 
19th of P'ebruary, 1862, and on the I 2th day of March left for Wash- 
ington with a strength of 928 men. Companies C, D, E, F, and I were 
each about half made up of Herkimer county men, and officered as fol- 
lows by Herkimer county : 

Company C — First lieutenant, Francis Murphy ; second lieutenant, John T. Norton ; 
first sergeant, John G. C. Sproule ; sergeants, James McGurren, Henry P. Fitzpatrick; 
corporal, Charles McGurren, all of Herkimer village ; musician, Dennis T. Hall, Graves- 
ville; wagoner, Horace Rice, Herkimer. 

Company D.— Captain, Rouse P. Egleston. Brockett's Bridge ; first lieutenant, Dwight 
S. Faville, Brockett's Bridge ; first sergeant, James H. Stiles, Salisbury ; second sergeant, 
Frank Reed, Brockett's Bridge; fourth sergeant, William Dresher, Salisbury ; fifth ser- 
geant, David Beverly, jr., Brockett's Bridge ; corporals, H. Alonzo Cool and Charles 
Doxtater, Brockett's Bridge ; Abner K. Huntly, Frederick Munson, and Conrad Metz, 
Salisbury Center, and Morgan Hughs, Manheim ; fifer, Ezra M. Huntly, Salisbury; 
wagoner, John Kirchen, Salisbury Center. 

Campany E. — Corporal, John Williams, Russia; musician, Jolin F. Moreliouse, Graves- 

Company F. — Captain, Stephen G. Hutchinson; first lieutenant, E. Gary Spencer, 
Brockett's Bridge; first sergeant, William Ransom; second sergeant, DelosD. Hall; third 
sergeant, Hiram Hildreth, and fourth sergeant, John Darling, Salisbury ; corporals, 
Augustus Johnson, William B. Judd, Brockett's Bridge, and George Terry, Salisbury. 

Company H, commanded by Captain Anton Brendle, included musicians Addy and 
William Thompson, and three privates, from Herkimer village. 

Company I. — Captain, James P. Leslie; first lieutenant, Romeyn Roof; second lieu- 
tenant, Lewis H. Carpenter ; first sergeant, George Chase, and sergeant, Henry A. Way, 
all of Little Falls; sergeant, Joseph W. Harrison, Tan Hornesville ; sergeant, Hartley 
Youker, Little Falls ; corporals, John Campbell, George J. Keller, Ansel L. Snow, Will- 
iam H. Gray, and Michael Tighe, Little Falls; Clinton Ackerman, Newville ; James 
Kenna, and Roswell Clark, jr.. Little Falls ; musicians, Charles A. Barrett and Fred- 
erick V. Laurent, Little Falls. 

Following is a list of the battles in which this regiment bore a con- 
spicuous part: Cedar Mountain, Rappahannock Station, Thoroughfare 
Gap, Second Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain, Antietam, Freder- 
icksburg (two engagements), Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, 
Raccoon Ford, Wilderness, Laurel Hill, Spottsylvania Court House, 
North Anna, Tolopotomoy, Bethesda Church, White Oak Swamp, 
Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Hicks Ford, Hatcher's Run, Quaker 
Road, White Oak Road, Five Forks, Appomattox. It is no more than 


justice to this splendid organization to give it credit for being one of the 
bravest and hardest fought regiments in the army, as the following sta- 
tistics will show : 

Of the color bearers two were killed and three wounded, as follows: Sergeant James 
Brown, killed July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg; Sergeant Sylvester Riley, killed May 5, 
18G4, at the battle of the Wilderness. Sergeant John King, wounded severely May 
18, near Spottsylvania Court-house; John D. Conlon, wounded May 5, 18G4, near 
Spottsylvania Court-house; Joseph Curtis, wounded February G, 1862. 

Of the original officers only three returned with the regiment, viz., Colonel J. P. 
SpofTord, Lieutenant-Colonel Rouse P. Egleston, and Captain Isaac Hall. 

The commissioned officers who were killed, or died of wounds received in action, 
were: Captain Richard Jones, August 30, 1862 ; First Lieutenant Dwight S. Faville, 
August 30, 1862; Second Lieutenant Louis Dallarini, September" 17, 1862; First Lieu- 
tenant Rush P. Cady, July 1, 1863 ; Second Lieutenant James H. Stiles, July 1, 1863 ; 
Second Lieutenant William J. Morrin, July 1. 1863; Fu'st Lieutenant Frank T. Bren- 
iian. May 6, 18G-1 ; Second Lieutenant William (i. Dresher, May 6, 1864; Second Lieu- 
tenant John Kocli, June 3, 1863 ; Second Lieutenant Henry P. Fitzpatnck, August 4, 
1864; Captain WilHam B. Judd, February 6, 1864. Thiity-two commissioned officers 
and 836 enlisted men were wounded. The total number of commis.sioned officers ever 
belonging to the regiment was ninety-four. 

Of the enlisted men in the regiment there were killed or mortally wounded, 203; died 
of disease, 122; discharged, 690; transferred, 534; mustered out — present — 322; mus- 
tered out — absent — 205; total, 2,081. There were twenly-two hundred names on the 
muster roll of the regiment during its service; when mustered out there were just 25 
officers and 322 men left. Company D mustered out but twenty-six men. 

The regiment wasm Duryea's Brigade and Rickett's Division of the First Corps at 
the battle of Antietam, where it sufiered more severely than in any other battle. Here 
more than one-half of the regiment was killed and woundod in less than an hour after 
the engagement commenced ; yet it is said men never displayed more coolness and de- 
termination. Not a man was captured, and when relieved, though under a galling fire, 
they retired in good order. 

At Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and all sulisequent battles — more than twenty in 
number — the Ninety- seventh sustained the reputation it had gloriously acquired at 
liard-fought Antietara. At Gettysburg the loss of the regiment was great, particularly 
in officers — eleven of whom (out of twenty-four) were killed or wounded. The regi- 
ment went into this battle with only 236 rifles ; and after being engaged several hours 
and losing heavily it made a successful charge upon the Twentieth North Carolina 
regiment, capturing 382 men and their colors. Colonel Spoffbrd (then lieutenant- 
coloneH led this charge, and in it nearly one-half of his hat was carried away by apiece 
of shell. His horse was shot in the head, and Colonel Spofford subsequentlj taken 
prisoner, and he was afterwards nearly a year and a half in Southern prisons. 

On the 7th of June, 1864, the Eiglity-third New York volunteers (Ninth militia) 
were consolidated with the Ninety-seventh. Prior to this consolidation the Twenty- 


sixth New York had been joined to tlie Eighty-third, and the Ninety-seventh there- 
fore received the remnants of two regiments when the consohdation took place. 

The One Hundred and Tzuenty -first Regiment. — This was the next 
organization which contained a large proportion of Herkimtr county 
men, most of the remainder being from Otsego county, and was raised 
in response to the president's call for 300,000 volunteers in August, 
1862. The camp of the regiment was situated on the grounds of H. J, 
Schuyler, in the town of German Flats, about a mile and a half from 
Herkimer, and was called Camp Schuyler. A list of the Herkimer 
county men in the regiment was published in the Herkimer Democrat 
of August 27, 1862, and shows that coinpanies A, B, C, D, and H 
were almost wholly from this county, the figures being respectively in 
the order named, 98, 102, 10 1, 102, and 66. These companies were 
officered as follows : 

Company A. — Captain, H. M. Galpin, Little Falls; hrst lieutenant, J. Biirrill, Salis- 
bury; second lieutenant, George W. Davis, Little Falls; sergeants — Joseph H. Heath, 
Little Falls; Lester Baum, Danube; David T. King, Salisbury; George Hewittson, 
Danube ; and Frank Burt, Little Falls; corporals — George H. Snell, Little Falls; John 
Wormouth, Danube ; Albert H. Clark, Little Falls; Henry Timmerman, Little Falls; 
Isaac Darling, Salisbury; Hallet Mattison, Salisbury; James Hendrix, Danube; and 
Peter Fletcher, Little Falls; musician, Murton Timmerman, Little Falls. 

Company B. — Captain, Irving Holcomb, Litchfield ; first lieutenant, H. C. Keith, 
German Flats ; second lieutenant, George A.May, German Flats; sergeants — ^Levi S. 
Jones, Winfield; Dennis A. Dewey, Plainfield; Samuel Miller, Litchfield; Gilbert T. 
Broadway, German Flats ; Reuben C. Holmes, Little Falls; corporals— F. McCarron, 
Litchfield ; A. C. Potter, Winfield ; G. W. Warren, Litchfield ; William H. Widrick, 
German Flats; Joseph B. Rounds, Winfield ; Dewitt Beckwith, Geiman Flats; Asahel 
Davis, Winfield ; William Thornton, Columbia ; musicians, J. M. Underwood, Litch- 
field ; Resell Jackson, Columbia. 

Company C. — Captain, Clinton A. Moon, Herkimer; first lieutenant, Thomas S. 
Arnold, Herkimer; second lieutenant, Angus Cameron, Fairfield; sergeants — E. P. 
Joiinson, Russia; D. W. Greene, A. Clark Rice and F. B. Ford, Fairfield ; G. W. Col- 
lins, Russia; corporals — W. Ward Rice, Fairfield; Joshua W. Storr, Russia; Calvin 
G. Carpenter, Fairfield; Crosby J. Graves, I. N. Bassett and Julius A. Jones, Russia; 
Wilbur F. Lamberson and Leander Swartout, Fairfield. 

Company D. — Captain, John D. Fish, Frankfort ; first lieutenant. Deles M. Kenyon, 
Frankfort; second lieutenant, Charles E. Staring, Schuyler; sergeants— James W. 
Bascom, Willard H. Howard, James Johnson, MellviUe D. Merry, Frankfort; Roselle 
Warren, Warren; corporals — Darius Brown, James H. Smith, Frankfort; Nathan B. 
Faville, Manheim; Nathaniel Warren, Amos Lepper, Frankfort; Aaron D. Miller, 
Schuyler ; Francis N. Piper, Ralph T. Pierson, Frankfort. 


Company H.— Captain, John Ramsay, Little Falls; first lieutenant, Double- 
day, Otsego county ; second lieutenant. M. R. Casler, Little Falls; sergeants — W. D. 
Turner, Little Falls; S. Wolverton, Thomas M. Kenna, Little Falls; R. C. Firman, 
Otsego county ; Levi Sherry, Little Falls; corporals, M. I. Gage, Little Falls; James 
Reddy, Little Falls; J. A. Burgess, Otsego county ; William H. Hayes, Little Falls; H. 
C. Winslow, Little Falls. 

The regimental officers were as follows: Colonel, Richaid Franchot ; litutenant-col- 
onel, C. H. Clark; Major, Egbert Olcott; adjutant, Alonzo Ferguson; surgeon, D. W. 
Bassett; assistant surgeons, S. B Valentine, D. M.Holt; quartermaster, Albert Story ; 
chaplain, J. R. Sage. 

This regiment left its camp on the 31st of August, marciied to the 
Herkimer station, where a large crowd witnessed the aflecting depait- 
ure. After a short stay in camp at Wasliington, the regiment went on 
picl<et duty beyond Georgetown, Sickness and death became prevalent 
in the various companies and by October 26, 1862, more than one 
hundred were sick and six had died, one of them a commissioned 
officer. After various minor movements, the regiment participated 
honorably in the battle of Fredericksburg, though its loss was small — 
four killed and twelve wounded. The winter was spent in camp, and 
the regiment suffered much from desertions. At the second battle 
of Fredericksburg, on the 3d of May, 1S63, the organization lost forty- 
one killed, and 235 wounded and missing. In the three days of 
fighting at Gettysburg the regiment participated, but its duty was such 
that it did not suffer material loss. November 7, 1863, the regiment 
participated in the engagement at Rappahannock Station, where it won 
brilliant laurels, aiding in capturing many prisoners and battle flags, 
and receiving honorable mention from General Meade. The loss was 
four killed and twenty-one wounded. 

During the winter of 1863-4 the regiment was in camp at Brandy 
Station. In the spring campaign of 1864 the One Hundred Twenty- 
First performed the most arduous service. A member writing home 
said : " We have been fighting like fury for fourteen days, watching 
nights and fighting daytitnes, and are now nearly worn out, as you 
may well imagine. We have captured many prisoners and stands 
of colors and many pieces of artillery. Out of fifteen officers only 
four are left. We have 144 men fit for duty. We started out with 
four hundred men and twenty officers. Six officers were killed, nine 


wounded and one missing. Twenty-five enlisted men were killed, 144 
wounded, and sixty-six missing." This letter was dated May 20. 

In the battle of Cold Harbor the regiment did its share of fighting 
and had a number of men wounded. The other engagements. in which 
it shared were Opequan, Fisher's Hill, and Peteisburg, and finally Cedar 
Creek. In the last battle it lost nine killed and forty wounded. The 
regiment was mustered out on June 25, 1865, and on the succeeding 
4tli of July was given a hearty reception at Little Falls, when 
twelve thousand people were present. Of 1,076 men who left Herki- 
mer in the One Hundred Twenty- First, only 445 returned. The loss 
in the field was 250 and in wounded between 600 and 700. 

The One Hundred and Fifty Second Regiment. — This regiment was 
formed in Herkimer and Otsego counties, about 360 men being drawn 
from Herkimer besides the following company officers : 

Company A. — Captain, Timothy O'Brien, Mohawk ; first lieutenant, Peleg G. Thomas ; 
second lieutenant, John M. Smith, Mohawk ; sergeant, Frederick A. Gray, Herki- 
mer; sergeant.s — Alonzo C. Holmes, Litte Falls ; Thomas MeGlone, Manheim ; Welford 
E. Casler, Little Falls ; and Simon Lepper, Herkimer ; corporals — William H. Cornell, 
Little Falls; Charles H. Dygert and Moses C. Holden, Herkimer; James P. Burns, 
Manheim; Thomas Ellis, Little Falls; Frederick Harter, Herkimer ; Moses C. Roof, 
Little Falls ; and William W. Wilson, Herkimer; musicians, Jeremiah Carroll, jr.. Lit- 
tle Falls, and John Smart, Herkimer; wagoner, William P. Casler, Little Falls. 

Company B. — Captain, William S. Burt; first lieutenant, Silas T. Bebee, and second 
lieutenant, H. Dwight Smith, Mohawk; first sergeant, Henry A. Hydorn, Little Falls- 
sergeants — John Mcintosh, Wilmurt ; Dennis T. Hurtly, Warren; Albert Hall and 
Truman F. Phelps, Ohio ; corporals— Francis Bennett, Ohio; D. Mcintosh, Russia- 
William B. CoflBn, Ohio ; Herman Delong, Stark; John Paul, Wilmurt; Hurlburt 
Norton, Newport ; musicians, Granville Palmer, Newport, and Paul Crego, Norway ; 
wagoner, George Bennett, Ohio. 

Company C. — Captain, James E. Curtiss; first lieutenant, Francis E. Leonard, and 
second lieutenant, Lansing Swift, Mohawk; sergeants — John Thrall and Daniel Steele, 
Mohawk; corporals — John Freeman, Hiatt Coe, Elijah Colbnrn, Jonathan Joyce, 
George W. Manchester and Edward F. Passen, Mohawk; musician, Frank Doxtater 
Mohawk; wagoner, Peter Doxtater, Mohawk. 

Company D. — Captain, William R. Wall, first lieutenant, Elias Young, and second 
lieutenant, John Land jr., Mohawk. 

Company E. — Captain, Simeon L. Coe, first lieutenant, Washington W. Hul.ser, and 
second lieutenant, Delancy Stafford, Mohawk; sergeants — Horatio Nichols, Litchfield - 
William Porter, Winfield ; Daniel Van Allen, Danube, and James McGowan, Litchfield ; 
corporals — William Luckey, jr., Bridgewater ; Jacob Nell, Litchfield; William Z. Ball 


Alonzo P. Miller and Isaac McLoughlin, Winfield ; James Barnes, Litchfield; John A. 
Carrier, Winfield, an<l Charles Brown, Schuyler ; musicians, Tliomas Fox, Danube, and 
William S. Babcock, Litchfield ; Wagoner, Peter W. Tallman, Schuyler. 

Company F. — Captain, Daniel A. West, Mohawk : first lieutenant, David Hill, Mo- 
hawk ; second lieutenant, James B. Eysaman, Mohawk; first sergeant, John W. Quim- 
by, Fairfield ; second, O. M. Cronkhite, Little Falls; third, Seymour A. Smith, Fair- 
field; fourth, William II. Lewis, Little Falls; fifth, Edward C. Townsend, Fairfield; 
first corporal, Alfred R. Quaiffe, Little Falls; second, Matthew McCann, Fairfield; 
third, Julius L. Townsend, Newport; fourth, Delevan Hewitt, Manheim ; fifth, Thomas 
R. Petrie, Fairfield; sixth, John W. Allen, Manheim ; musicians, Lyman Snell, Man- 
heim, and James D. Wiswell, Little Falls; wagoner, David Flint, Little Falls. 

Company K. — Captain, Lambert Hensler, Mohawk ; first lieutenant, Lewis A. Camp- 
bell, Mohawk; second lieutenant, Jacob G. Bellinger, Mohawk; first sergeant, Peter 
B. Dykenian, Little Falls; sergeants, Englehart Diefenbocker, Adrian Lee, Sanford A. 
Hager and David Small. Frankfort ; first corporal, Andrew Bridenbecker, second, Ed- 
ward Haver, third, Michael Conlon, fourth, Lewis H. Gray, and fifth, Winfield S. Forel- 
man, Frankfort ; sixth, Cornelius W. Hardendorf, Cherry Valley ; seventh, William 
J. Gray, Warren; eighth, Seth B. Holdridge, Schuyler; musicians, Eugene Casey, 
German Flats, and Garrett Vischer, Frankfort; wagoner, George Sterling, Frankfort. 

Company G. — Captain, Edmund C. Gilbert, Mohawk; first lieutenant, Josiah Hinds, 

Company H. — Captain, Uriah B. Kendall; first lieutenant, William R. Patrick; sec- 
ond lieutenant, William L. Hopkins, all of Mohawk. 

Company I. — Captain, Alonzo A. Bingham; first lieutenant, Charles Hamilton; sec- 
ond lieutenant, Edward W. Butler, all of Mohawk. 

Following are the field and staff ofiicers : Colonel, Leonard Boyer ; lieutenant 
colonel. Alonzo Ferguson; major, George R Spalding; adjutant, Cleveland J. Camp- 
bell ; quartermaster, George W. Ernst, jr. ; surgeon, Silas A. Ingham ; assistant sur- 
geons, Eli Small, Harmon M. Blood. 

The One Hundred Fifty- second Regiment was formed in the fall of 
1862, and reached Washington on the 23d of October, where it re- 
mained in Camp Marcy until February, 1863, when it was stationed in 
the city for guard and provost duty. After three weeks at Suffolk, in 
Eastern Virginia, the regiment again returned to Washington, and on the 
14th of July was ordered to New York. This movement was occasioned 
b}' the fear of riots caused by the draft. After about a month in New 
York the regiment proceeded to Schenectady, for guard duty during the 
draft; their services were not needed. Returning to New York the 
regiment remained there until the middle of October, 1863, when it re- 
joined the Army of the Potomac, and was assigned to the First Brigade, 


Second Division, Second Corps, reporting at headquarters near Center- 
villa. After sharing in Meade's eight days' campaign across the Rapi- 
dan, the regiment went into winter quarters near Brandy Station. 

In the terrible battles of the Wilderness in the spring of 1864, the 
One Hundred Fitty- Second performed an honorable part and suffered 
severely. A letter written on May 13 thus speaks of that battle: 

I am still sound after eight days' hard fighting. We have lost heavily. Our gallant 
old leader, General John Sedgwick, of the " bloody Sixth Corps," is killed, and our noble 
Colonel Olcott is also no more. Major Galpin is wounded in the eye, and is at Freder- 
icksburg hospital. We went into the fight with 446 men and fifteen officers, and came 
out to-day with four olEcers and not a hundred men. I have just taken the " census," 
and find we have just ninety-four men to-day, May 13. Out of fifty-six men in Com- 
pany A there are just seven left. When we charged we took 3,000 prisoners, and the 
next day the Second Corps took Johnson's whole division, 9,000 strong, seventeen 
pieces of artillery, and some twenty stands of colors. The report has just come in that 
the rebels have left the front. The loss to our army in killed, wounded and missing 
must be at the least calculation from 18,000 to 25,000. This has been the greatest bat- 
tle ever fought on this continent. Captain Fish is killed. 

It was in the Wilderness battle that the famous charge was made in 
which this regiment participated, and which has gone upon the records 
of history. It was just before daybreak, and in its front were three 
lines of rifle pits, and in the rear of them two formidable lines of log 
ramparts ; these were about five feet thick at the base and six feet high, 
each at the rear commanding the one in front. As soon as it was light 
enough to see, the signal was given and the entire corps pressed forward. 
As the attacking force dashed over the first and second lines of rifle 
pits and captured the swarms of soldiers in them, a wild yell burst forth 
from the Union lines, which was responded to by a withering fire of 
cannon and musketry. Still undaunted they pushed on, Sergeant Hul- 
burt Norton a little in advance with the colors. His right hand was 
shot away at the staff, but he quickly raised the colors with his left 
hand and pushed on. The next instant a bullet pierced his brain. 
The color guard being now wholly wiped out and the staff of the State 
flag cut in two, the men hesitated at the third line. Captain David 
Hill caught up the flag and with a shout jumped into a section of the 
pit in front and alone sent thirty bewildered rebels to the rear. Another 
moment and we were pouring over the works, the colors still carried by 
Captain Hill, but he was soon forced to drop them, as he received a 



painful wound. The State flag was then caught up by Sergeant Fitch 
and turned over to another who carried it through the remainder of tlie 
engagement. The works were carried and about 6,000 prisoners cap- 
tured, with forty-two guns, and many horses, etc. The One Hundred 
Fifty-Second alone took three stands of colors, and covered itself with 
glory. Nor did it suffer its well earned honors to decline during the 
remainder of its term. In the battles of North Anna, Cold Harbor, 
Petersburg, Strawberry Plains, Reams Station and on the Boydton 
Road, it bore an honorable part, and was mustered out at the close of 
the war July 13, 1865. 

Other organizations in which Herkimer county soldiers served were, 
first, the Fourteenth Regiment of infantry, commonly known as the 
First Oneida Regiment, which was organized at Utica in April, 1861, 
with James McQuade as colonel. It was mustered into the service at 
Albany on the 17th of May and left for Washington on the 14th of 
June, where it arrived and went into camp on Meridian Hill. The regi- 
ment bore an honorable part in a minor engagement at Ball's Cross 
Roads on the 14th of September; was in the siege of Yorktown, the 
battle of Hanover Court House, at Gaines Mill (June 27, 1862), at Mal- 
vern Hill July I, losing 9 killed, 79 wounded, and 29 missing; entered 
the Seven Days fight with 500 men and lost 34 killed, 177 wounded 
and 15 missing; took part in the succeeding Maryland campaign, and 
left the field at Falmoth November 12, 1863. It was mustered out at 
Utica on the 20th of that month. 

Second, the Twenty-sixth Regiment of infantry, commonly known as 
the Third Oneida, which was mustered in at Elmira May 21, 1861, for 
three months; but most of its number re-enlisted at the expiration of 
the term, under special order. The regiment participated in the battle 
of Cedar Mountain, in the four days' skirmishing at Rappahannock Sta- 
tion; in the second battle of Bull Run, where Captains Casselmen and 
G. S. Jennings were killed; at Chantilly September 1, 1861 ; at South 
Mountain, and at Antietam. It went into the battle of Fredericksburg 
with about 300 officers and men, and suffered severely, losing some 15 
officers killed and wounded, with a total loss of 30 killed, and 120 
wounded. It also participated in the action at Chancellorsville. The 
organization was mustered out May, 1863. 


Battery A of the First Light Artillery was raised in Herkimer county, 
and was accepted for the service October 9, 1861. It went into camp 
for artillery instruction at Camp Barry, Washington. On the 22d of 
March, 1862, the battery was attached to General Casey's Division, 
Fourth Corps, which embarked at Alexandria April i, 1862, and landed 
at Newport News. The battery was engaged in the siege of Yorktown, 
and on the 31st of May took part in the battle of Fair Oaks, in which 
it had 100 horses killed and the entire battery was captured by the 
enemy. The company was greatly reduced, and in June, 1862, Captain 
Bates was authorized to recruit a new company under the old organiza- 
tion, while the remaining members of the old company were attached 
to Battery H, Fifth New York Artillery, and to the Seventh and Eighth 
New York batteries. The new battery was stationed at Camp Barry 
until July, 1863, after which until it was mustered out it was employed 
in Pennsylvania and on the border to prevent raids into that State. 

Company K of the Second New York Artillery was chiefly raised in 
Herkimer county, mostly in and near Frankfort. Pliny L. Joslin, of 
Frankfort, was the first captain ; Charles Howell, first lieutenant, and 
Joseph C. Tillinghast, second lieutenant; James Hares, first sergeant; 
Theodore S. Crosby, second sergeant ; Charles Horton, Eliakim F. 
Howell, Loren True and James H. Parks, sergeants ; Peter W. Gloo, 
Vernam W. Harvey, James Dodge, Harvey Rogers, Charles Rathbun, 
Andrew M. Lee, Francis A. Lewis, and Myron K. Ellsworth, cor- 
porals; David Smalts, bugler ; Benjamin J. Ford, and Jacob J. Wright, 
blacksmiths ; John S. Lewis, wagoner, all of Frankfort. While forming 
this battery was stationed at Staten Island and^ in the winter of 1861 
went to Forth Worth, Va., where it remained until the summer of 1862. 
It then joined General Pope's command and participated in the second 
fight at Bull Run. After that it remained stationed at Fort Corcoran, 
Va., until May, 1864. The battery participated in the entire campaign 
of 1864, suffering loss at Spottsylvania, and sharing in many later en- 
gagements Its loss at Strawberry Plain was very severe and included 
seven commissioned officers in killed and wounded. On the Weldon 
Road and at Hatcher's Run the regiment was honorably engaged and 
duringthe winter of 1864-5 was in camp in front of Petersburg. During 
the campaign which closed the war the regiment saw the most active 


service, after which it returned to Washington and in the fall was mus- 
tered out. 

The Sixteenth Artillery was raised in this State and mustered into 
the service between September 28, 1863, and January 28, 1864. Her- 
kimer county contributed over one hundred men to its ranks, more 
than one half of whom were in Company F. The most severe work of 
this organization was in the trenches in front of Petersburg after Au- 
gust, 1864. It remained in the service until the close of the war and 
was mustered out August 21, 1865. 

In Capt. John H. Fralick's company (M) of the Second Regiment of 
Rifles, were between thirty and forty Herkimer county men, with the 
following officers: 

Captain, John H. Fralick, Little Falls; first lieutenant, Eli Morse, Little Falls; ser- 
geant, John A. Fralick, Danube; sergeant, Thomas Manion, Manheim ; corporals, Paul 
J. Perry, William Hamilton, Edward A. Tryon, Patrick Marion, James Costello and 
Andrew Bang, Little Falls ; musician, William Fleming, Little Falls ; teamsters, Jesse 
Cx. Clute and William A. Wheeler, Little Falls; farriers, Phillip Perry, Danube, and 
George F. Adams, Little Falls. 

The regiment was organized at Buffalo for three years' service and 
was recruited between July, 1863, and February, 1864. The regiment 
left Fort Porter in March, 1864, for a camp near Washington. It par- 
ticipated in the battles of Spottsylvania, North Anna, Bethesda Church, 
Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Road, Hatcher's Run, and shared in 
the pursuit of Lee to Appomattox. At Five Forks and Jetersville the 
regiment was engaged, but without severe loss. After the surrender 
the regiment returned to Petersburg and pending the negotiations be- 
tween Jolinston and Sherman was ordered to North Carolina to rein- 
force Sherman. With Johnston's surrender the regiment returned to 
Petersburg and from there to Buckingham, Va., where it performed 
provost duty until August, 1865. It was mustered out at Buffalo on 
the loth of that month. The regiment left home with 1,500 men and 
during its term was recruited with more than 300. It returned with 
between 700 and 800 men. In the service a little more than a year, 
the regiment took part in nineteen engagements. 

The Eighteenth New York Cavalry, mustered into the service Feb- 
ruary 3, 1864, contained about twenty-five men from Herkimer county. 
Its term of service was comparatively short and hence it did not suffer 

The civil war period. io9 

very heavy losses. The Fourteenth Cavalry was consolidated with this 
regiment in June, 1864, and the force as thus constituted was in the 
service until May 31, 1865. 

In this very brief sketch of the uprising in Herkimer county and its 
generous and noble support of the government in the great Civil War, 
we have not space for mention of the hundreds of heroic deeds done by 
her volunteers. Tn the great total of sacrifice in that struggle a single 
death, a single deed of heroism, the suffering of any individual, count 
for but little ; together they constitute the history of the greatest of 
modern wars. 

The records show that this county was in the fore front of those com- 
prising the Empire State in its sacrifices for the good of the country. 

A draft was anticipated in this county in the fall of 1862, but the offer 
of liberal bounties and the energy displayed in promoting enlistments 
avoided that alternative. Again in the spring and summer of 1863, it 
seemed as though no effort could raise the troops called for by the pres- 
ident ; and although the country was electrified by the splendid victories 
of the Union armies at Gettysburg, Vicksburg and elsewhere, it finally 
became apparent that a draft could not be avoided. The Twentieth 
district was composed of Jefferson, Lewis and Herkimer counties and 
the draft began in Jefferson county on the 25th of August, the proceed- 
ings taking place in VVatertown. Drafting Herkimer county men began 
on the 27th, and the following table shows the enrollment and the num- 
ber drawn in each town : 

Columbia Enrollment, 225 Drawn, 64 



Frankfort ' 

German Flats ' 


Litchfield ' 

Little Falls 

Manheim ' 

Newport ' 

Norway ' 


Russia ' 

Salisbury ' 

Schuyler ' 



Wilmurt ' 

































" 20 






In the fall elections the State went Republican and the county also 
by about i,000 majority. 

A new enrollment was ordered late in 1863, and with the repeated 
calls for troops, bounties were increased and recruiting was pushed with 
energy. Under the call for 500,000 men a draft was ordered for March 
10, leaving thirty-five days after the call in which to fill the various 
quotas. At that time the county had a credit of 363 enlistments. On 
the 14th of March another call for 200,000 men was issued and a draft 
for all deficiencies ordered for April 15, 1864. The draft did not take 
place until June 8, by which date the enlistments had progressed to such 
an extent that the deficiency throughout the county was very lis^ht. 
The following table gives the details of this, the last draft made in the 
county : 

Quota under Two Calls. Credits. Deficiency. Excess. 

Columbia G5 69 4 

Danube 47 47 

Fairfield 54 55 . . 1 

Frankfort 100 100 

German Flats 188 132 56 

Herkimer 90 92 2 

Litchfield 41 38 3 

Little Falls 176 176 

Manheim 61 44 17 

Newport 60 53 7 

Norway 25 18 7 

Obio 24 16 8 

Russia 88 44 24 

Salisbury 59 48 11 

Schuyler .11 52 . . 1 

Stark 62 48 4 

Warren 58 57 1 

Wilmurt 6 6 

Winfield 46 53 . . 7 

Another call for 500,000 volunteers was made July 18, 1864, to be 
followed by a draft September 5. Russia was the first town in this 
county to fill her quota under this call, and through the payment of 
enormous bounties and the utmost activity and perseverance of the loyal 
people, the quota was filled. In spite of these repeated calls and the 
opposition of those who had already declared the war unnecessary and 


a failure, the fall elections went strongly for the Union, while troops 
came forward with alacrity to the succeeding calls of the president, and 
in the spring of 1865 the people of the county had the extreme satis- 
faction of joining in the grand demonstrations that were made all over 
the North upon the surrender of the Southern armies. 

There is little further to add to the general history of the county that 
is not given in detail in following chapters and in the histories of the 
various towns. It is nearly thirty years since the close of the war and 
almost the whole of that period has witnessed a steady growth in Herki- 
mer county, in population and general prosperity. This is particularly 
true of the increase of manufactures, which are fully described in the 
histories of the towns. At the same time agricultural interests, depend- 
ing largely upon dairying interests, have been far more prosperous than 
in many other localities. The opening of the West Shore Railroad in 
1883, though holding out considerable promise of benefit, can scarcely 
be said to have fulfilled public expectations; but the same statement 
applies to its entire line. The building of the Adirondack and St Law- 
rence road and the one extending from Little Falls to Dolgeville, both 
of which have been put in operation in 1892, cannot fail to be of im- 
portance to all of the towns north of the river. In short, it may be said 
that there are few of the interior counties of the State, especially among 
those that do not depend upon the progress of some large city, that 
has a brighter outlook than Herkimer. 

In the year 1800 the population of Herkimer county was 16,332. 
The increase since that time as shown by the census reports is as follows : 
1810, 24,742; 1820, 31,017; 1825, 33,040; 1830, 35,870; 1835, 
36,201; 1840,37,477; 1845,37,424; 1850; 38,244; 1855, 38,566; 
i860, 40,561; 1865,39,154; 1870,39,929; 1875,41,586; 1880,42,- 
66-] ; 1890, 45,608. 

The fluctuations of population in the various towns of the county 
since the census are shown in the following table : 

1855 1S60 1865 1870 T87S 1880 iSgo 

Columbia 1,831 1,893 1,732 1,637 1,589 1,616 1,380 

Danube 1,791 1,711 1,343 1,324 1,238 1,235 1,116 

Fairfield 1,493 1,712 1,649 1,653 1,567 1,656 1,553 

Frankfort 3,217 3,247 3,087 3,065 3,402 3,025 3,988 

German Flats 3,855 3,940 5,074 5,718 7,371 6.746 7,255 

Herkimer .2,866 2,804 2,922 2,949 3,322 3,593 4,666 


1S55 i860 1865 1870 1875 1880 jSgo 

Litchfield l,r)82 1,520 1,397 1.384 1,248 1,218 1,055 

Little Falls 4,930 5,989 5,588 5,612 5,846 6,913 7,512 

Manheim 1,672 1,868 1,831 2,000 2,173 2,421 3,809 

Newport 2,015 2,113 1.983 1,954 1,790 1,953 1,835 

Norway 1,059 1,105 1,080 1,117 1,0.54 1,045 818 

Ohio 1,087 1,135 928 1,009 980 901 832 

Russia 2,288 2,389 2,030 2,220 2,048 2.177 2,145 

Sahsbury 2,306 2,325 2,123 1,933 1,875 1,884 1,800 

Schuyler 1,690 1,715 1,.589 1,5.58 1,497 1,452 1,259 

.Stark 1.478 1,543 1.522 1,541 1,395 1,476 1,248 

Warren 1,741 1,812 1,611 1,.503 1,461 1,430 1,339 

Wilmurt 2,268 260 148 191 185 271 375 

Winfield 1,397 1,480 1,517 1,501 1,539 1,597 1,665 

State Senators. — The first constitution divided the State into four senate districts — 
"Southern," " Middle," " Eastern," and " Western." Herkimer county, on its forma- 
tion, became a part of the last named, but was changed to the Eastern in 1815. An- 
drew Finck, jr., of Manheim, went from the Western district in 1784, and the next 
three years; Michael Myers, of Herkimer, from 1796 to 1801, inclusive; John Meyer, 
of Herkimer, in 1802; Matthias B. Tallmadge, of Herkimer, in 1803, 1804 and 1805; 
Nathan Smith, of Fairfield, from 1800 to 1814; John I. Prendergast, of Winfield. in 
1815. The gentleman last named was a senator from the Eastern district in 1816, 1817 
and 1818, and George Rosecrantz, of German Flats, in the next four years. The 
second constitution divided the State into eight senate district.*, entitled to four sen- 
ators apiece. Herkimer county belonged to the fifth until May 23, 1836, when it was 
transferred to the fourth. Under the present constitution this county, with Mont- 
gomery, Fulton and Hamilton, at first formed the sixteenth district. In 1857 Herki- 
mer and Otsego were made the twentieth, to which, in 1879, Madison was added ; 
and in 1892 changed to Herkimer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Montgomery. The repre- 
sentatives of the district from Herkimer county under the second and third 
constitutions have been as follows: Sherman Wooster, of Newport, 1823-27 ; Nathaniel 
S. Benton. 1828-31; Edmund Varney, of Russia, 1842-45; Thomas Burch, Little 
Fall-s 1848, 1849; George H. Fox. Mohawk, 1850, 1851; Frederick P. Bellinger, 
Herkimer. 1856, 18.57; Addison H. Laflin, Herkimer, 1858, 1859; George A. Hardin, 
Little Falls, 1862, 1863; John B. Van Petten, Fairfield, 1868, 1SG9 ; Archibald C. 
McGowan, Frankfort. 1872-75; David P. Looniis, 1876, 1877; Samuel S. Edick, 
1878, 1879. Albert M. Mills received majority of votes in 1879; Titus Sheard, 
received majority of votes in 1889. 

Members of Congress. — Herkimer county, when formed, became part of a congres- 
sional district containing, besides, Montgomery, Otsego, Tioga, Ontario, and part 
of Albany. In 1792 the part of Albany was taken ofl" and Onondaga was added upon 
its formation. In 1797 Herkimer was put into the ninth district, with Montgomery, 
Oneida and Chenango. In 1802 it vras joined with Oneida and St. Lawrence to form 
the fifteenth, to which, in 1804. Jefferson and Lewis were added. Oneida was taken 
off in 1808, and in 1812 the seventeenth district was formed from Herkimer and 


Madison. Ten years later, Herkimer alone became the fifteenth district. In 1832 
Herkimer and Lewis became the sixteenth, and in 1842 Herkimer and Montgomery 
were made the seventeenth. In 1851 St. Lawrence took the place of Montgomery in 
this district. In J8G2 Herkimer county, Jefferson and Lewis were constituted the 
twentieth district. In 1873 the same district was numbered the twenty-second, in 
1883 changed to Herkimer, Otsego and Schoharie ; and in 1892 changed to Herkimer 
and Oneida, and now called the twenty-fifth. The members of the House of Repre- 
sentatives from Herkimer county in the several Congresses have been as follows: 

Vlllth Congress (1803-5), Gaylord Griswold, Herkimer; Xlth (1809-11), John 
Nicholson, Herkimer; XlVth (1815-17), Westel Willoughby, jr., Newport; XVth 
and XVIth (1817-21), Aaron Hackley, jr., Herkimer; XVIIIth (1823-25), John Her- 
kimer ; XlXth-XXIId (1825-33), Michael Hoffman, Herkimer ; XXIIId and XXIVth 
(1833-37), Abijah Mann, jr., Fairfield; XXVth (1837-39), Arphaxed Loomis, Little 
Falls; XXVIIIth and XXIXth (1843-47), Charles S. Benton, Mohawk; XXXth 
(1847-49), George Petrie. Little Falls; XXXIst (1848-51), Henry P. Alexander, 
Little Falls; XXXIId (1851-53), Alexander H. Buel, Fairfield; XXXIVth- 
XXXVIth (1855-61), Francis E. Spinner, Mohawk; XXXIXth-XLIst (1865-71), 
Addison H. Laflin, Herkimer: Warner Miller, of Herkimer, received majority of 
votes in 1878, 1880. 

Comity Clerks. — Jonas Piatt, February 17th, 1791 ; Joab Griswold, March 19th 
1798; Blihu Griswold. April 6th, 1804, and March 4th, 1811 ; Peter M. Myers, Februl 
ary 28th, 1810, and February 23d, 1813; Aaron Hackley, jr., February 12th, 1812 
and February 16th, 1815; Walter Fish, April 16th, 1817; John Mahon, February' 
13th, 1821; Jabez Fox, 1823; Abijah BecKwith, 1826; Julius C. Nelson, 1832; 
John Dygert, 1835; Edwin A. Munson, 1841; Standish Barry, 1847; Elkenah T. 
Cleland, 1853 ; Cornelius T. B. Van Home, 1856 ; Zenas Green, 1861 ; Douglass Ben- 
net, 1867; Edward Simm.s, 1878; Palmer M. Wood, 1880; Arthur T. Smith, 1886; 
Levi C. Smith, 1889 ; Nelson E. Ransom, 1892. 

County Treasurers. — Robert Ethridge, 1848 and 1866 ; Horatio W. Johnson, 1851 ' 
C. C. Witherstine, 1854; Allen W.Eaton, 1857; Floyd 0. Shepard, 1863 ; Alphonzo 
D.Marshall, 1872; Albert Story, 1878; Caleb P. Miller, 1885; Sylvanus J. Waters, 
jr., 1888 ; Thomas Bailey, 1891. 

Assemhlym'en. — The members of the Assembly from the territory of Herkimer county 
while it was part of Tryon were Michael Edic and Abraham Van Home, elected in 
1777 and 1778; George Henry Bell and Abraham Van Home, elected in 1776-79; 
William Retry elected in 1781, and 1782; and Andrew Frinck, elected in 1782. 
From Montgomery county Van Home was a member in 1786 ; Henry Staring 
was elected in 1788, and Michael Myers in 1789-91. Since its organization Her- 
kimer county has been represented as follows: In 1792, 1793, Michael Myers; 1794, 
1795, Jedediah Sanger; 1796, Jonas Piatt; 1797, Isaac Brayton, Arthur Breese, 
Matthew Brown, jr., Lodowick Campbell, Gaylord Griswold, Joshua Leeland, Henry 
McNeil; 1798, Benjamin Bowen, Matthew Brown, jr., Lodowick Campbell, Isaac 
Foot, Gaylord Griswold, Henry McNeil, Nathan Smith; 1799, Lodowick Campbell, 
John Cummins, jr., Phineas Gates; 1800, Thomas Manly, John Mills, John Meyer; 


1801, Nathan Smith, Evans Wharry, George Widrig; 1802, Nathan Smith, Samuel 
Merry, jr., George Widrig; 1803, Stephen Miller, George Widrig, Samuel Wright. 
1804 and 1805, Evans Wharry, George Widrig, Samuel Wright; 180C, Eldad Corbet' 
George Widrig, Samuel Wright; 1807, John Kennedy, George Widrig, Samuel 
Wright; 1808 and 1809, Aaron Budlong, John M. Petrie, Westel Willoughby, jr. ; 
1810, Christopher P. Bellinger, Rudolph Devendorff, Thomas Manly; 1811, Christo- 
pher P. Bellinger, Robert Burch, Hosea Nelson; 1812, Robert Burch. Rudolph I. 
Shoemaker, Samuel Woodworth; 1813, John Graves, Hosea Nelson, Rudolph I. 
Shoemaker; 1814, Christopher P. Bellinger, Jonas Cleland, Aaron Eackley, jr.; 
1815. Jonas Cleland, Aaron Hackley, jr., John. McCombs ; 181G, William D. Ford, 
Henry Hopkin.'!, John McCombs; 1817, Abijah Beckwith, William D. Ford, George 
Rosecrantz; 1818, Nichol Fosdick, Aaron Hackley, jr., George Rosecrantz; 1819, Jonas 
Cleland, Nichol Fosdick, Henry Gros; 1820, Phdo M. Hackley, Jacob Markell, James 
Orton ; 1821, Simeon Ford, Thomas Manly, Daniel Van Home; 1822, Stephen 
Todd, Simeon Ford, Robert Shoemaker; 1823, Abijah Beckwith, John Dygert, 
Henry Tillinghast; 1824, Christopher P. Bellinger, Caleb Budlong, John Graves; 1825, 
Samael Dexter, jr., Warner Folts, Jacob Wire; 182G, Jonas Cleland, Nicholas Schuyler, 
Edmund Varney ; 1S27, Frederick P. Bellinger, Daniel C. Henderson, Richard Smith, 
2d; 1828, David R. Currier, Abijah Mann, jr., John P. Snell ; 1829, John B. Dygert, 
Abijah Mann, jr., Cornelius Sloughter ; 1830, Frederick P. Bellinger, Russell Hopkins, 
Abijah Mann, jr.; 1831, Atwater Cooke, jr., Olmstead Hough, Nicholas Lawyer; 1832, 
William C. Grain, Daniel Dygert, David Thorp; 1833, Dudley Burwell, Joseph M. 
Prendergast, Sherman Wooster ; 1834, Augustus Beardslee, Timothy J. Campbell, 
Charles Dyer ; 1835, Charles Gray, Peter P. Murphy, Henry Tillinghast ; 1836, Stephen 
Ayers, Frederick Bellinger, Thomas Hawks; 1837, Henry L. Easton, Aaron Hackley; 
1838, Abijah Mann, jr., Volney Owen ; 1839, Benjamin Carver, Atwater Cook, jr. ; 
1840. Daniel Bellinger, George Burch; 1841 and 1842, Michael Hoffman, Arphaxed 
Loomis; 1843, Walter Booth, John T. Hall ; 1844, Michael Hoffman, Peter H. Warren ; 
1845, Alexander H. Buell, William C. Grain; 1846, William C. Grain, Henry Eysaman ; 
1847, Abijah Beckwith, Jefferson Tillinghast. (Herkimer county had now become two' 
districts, the first embracing all the towns wholly or partly north of the river, except 
Schuyler. The members from the first district will be mentioned first.) 1848, James 
Feeter, Little Falls ; Lawrence L. Merry, Mohawk ; 1849, Frederick P. Bellinger, 
Herkimer; Asa Wilcox, Newville; 1850, Asa Vickery, Ohio; Humphrey G. Root, 
Mohawk; 1851, John H. Wooster, Newport; Daniel Shall, Starkville ; 1852, John 
Hoover, Clermont; Charles Delong. Richfield Springs; 1853, Arphaxed Loomis, Little 
Falls; John W. Beckwith, Cedarville; 1854, Gardner Hiiikley, Wilmurt ; Dean Burgess, 
Winfield; 1855, Edmund G. Chapin, Little Falls; William Bridenbecker, Frankfort; 
1856, Samuel Greene, Fairfield ; Amos H. Prescott, Mohawk ; 1857, John H. Wooster, 
Newport; Harris Lewis, Frankfort; 1858, William Coppernoll, Ohio; Harris Lewis, 
Frankfort; 1859, Solomon Graves, Gravesville ; Lester Green, Danube ; 1860, Stephen 
R. Millington, Norway; Irving Holcomb, Cedarville; 1861, John Markell, Manheim 
Center; Josiah Shull. Mohawk; 18G2, Orson Moore, Russia; George Springer, Stark- 
ville; 1863, Grillin Sweet, Fairfield; Archibald C. McGowan, Frankfort; 1864, John 


H. Wooster, Newport; Ezra D. Beckwith, Cedarville; 1865, Henry Tillinghast, Nor- 
way; E. Bradley Lee, West Winfield ; 1866, Steplien Turtelot, Herkimer; Archibald 
C. MoGowan, Frankfort; 18G7 (the county having been made one district in 1866), 
Seth M. Richmond, Little Falls; 1868. Eli.sha W. Stannard, Springfiehi Center; 1869. 
Erasmus W. Day, West Schuyler; 1870 and 1871, Daniel A. Northrup, Salisbury Cen- 
ter ; 1872 and 1873, Eleazer C. Rice, Fairfield ; 1874 and 1875, Warner Miller, Herki'- 
mer; 1876 and 1877, Myron A. McKee ; 1878 and 1879, Titus Sheard ; 1880 and 1881. 
William D. Gorsline; 1882, Albert M. Ross; 1883, George W. Smith; 1885 and 1886, 
John M. Budlong; 1887 and 1888, P. H. MoEvoy ; 1889, Dewitt J. Mesiok; 1890, 
John D. Henderson; 1891 and 1892, Henry H. Green. 

Herkimer county was represented in the State convention of i8oi, 
which fixed the number of senators and members of the Assembly, by 
George Rosecrantz, Matthias P. TaUmadge and Evans Wharry. The 
delegates to the constitutional convention of 182 1 were Sanders Lansing, 
Richard Van Home and Sherman Wooster. Michael Hoffman and 
Arphaxed Loomis represented the county in the constitutional conven- 
tion of 1846. 

Lorenzo Caryl, of Little Falls, was appointed State assessor January 
28, 1870. X. A Willard, of Little Falls, was canal collector at that 
place from i860 to 1862. Michael Hoffman was appointed canal com- 
misioner April 4, 1833, and William L Skinner, of Little Falls, was 
elected to the same office November 8, 1859. 

Ezra Graves, of Herkimer, was elected inspector of State prisons 
November 5, 1872. 

■ Nathan Smith, of Fairfield, was elected one of the regents of the uni- 
versity January 31, 1809. 

Presidental electors have been chosen from this county as follows: 
In 1796, Peter Smith ; 18 12, George Rosecrantz ; 1816, Nichol Fosdick ; 
1828, Rufus Grain; 1836, Henry Ellison ; 184O, Thomas Burch ; 1848, 
Asa Chatfield; 1852, William C. Grain ; i860, Abijah Beckwith; 1878, 
H. H. Morgan. 



BY referring to the map of Herkimer county, it will be seen that at 
about halfway between its northern and southern boundaries a part 
of Hamilton county breaks the regularity of the dividing line, advancing 
into Herkimer, forming an angle. From this angle, nearly all north (about 
one-half of the county) is a wilderness, covered for the most part with a 
dense forest. The soil here is light and poor, the climate cold, and 
when the land becomes divested of its timber, the snow, which here 
falls to a great depth and remains long on the ground, together with 
the early and late frosts, must render the land of little value compara- 
tively for agricultural purposes. This part of the county is the great 
lumber region, where parties are slowly making their way northward, 
felling the hemlock for its bark, and the spruce and cedar for flooring- 
plank, timber, boards and shingles. It is the southern part of Herkimer 
county with which we have to do ; for here lie her dairy lands, dotted 
with herds, the produce of which has rendered the county noted 
throughout the continent and in the markets of Europe. 

The Mohawk River divides the southern portion of the county, and 
as we approach that stream from the angle made by Hamilton county 
the general character of the climate and soil improves, the latter increas- 
ing more and more in its fertility. 

The limited space allowed for this chapter will not permit us to treat 
of the various soils in the several towns, and we can only speak of that 
which is supposed to be a characteristic feature in rendering the lands 
of the county superior for dairy purposes. 

The rock which underlies a large share of the lands in the towns 
north of the Mohawk is the Utica slate. It is of a dark color, of a soft 
or flaky nature, is found cropping out in numerous places, and when 
exposed to the atmosphere and frosts readily falls in pieces and is 
mingled with the soil. This rock contains considerable organic matter 

' Knim a paper written by the late X. A. Willard, in 1878. 


(according to Emmons, more than ten parts in one hundred), is charged 
with sulphur and contains lime, and when near the surface forms a soil 
rich in fertilizing elements, and not easily exhaustible Instances can 
be pointed out where fields of this black slate land have been plowed 
and cultivated tor more than twenty years in succession without the 
application of manures, and yielding good returns each year ; and 
there are pastures and meadows that iiave lain in grass for thirty or 
forty years, and which are still yielding abundant crops. 

In the towns south of the Mohawk River the Utica slate is found 
only to a limited extent, the Frankfort slate, hmestone and Marcellus 
shales being the characteristic underlying rocks. 

It is the modifying influence which these rocks are supposed to exert 
on the grasses, and the comparatively large surface over which they ex- 
tend, together with the abundant supply of never- failing streams and 
springs of pure water, that render Herkimer county peculiarly adapted 
to grazing, giving a richness and flavor to her cheese product not easily 
obtained in less favored locahties. 

The fall of rain and snow during the year is considerably more here 
than in many other parts of the State, and this is supposed to act favor- 
ably on the grasses and in the preservation of meadows. The grasses 
usually grown and considered most productive are timothy, June or 
Kentucky blue-grass, red top and orchard grass, with the clovers, red 
and white. These grow on the same sward and are well adapted to the 
soil and climate. White clover and June grass are indigenous, and 
are deemed of great value for pasturage. Gypsum has for a long time 
been in general use throughout the county. It is sown in early spring 
on pastures and meadows, and adds greatly to the productiveness of 
grasses and clovers. No other mineral or foreign fertilizer is in general 

Stock. — Reliance lias been placed for the most part on the native or 
common cow for supplying the dairies of the county. At first, and for 
many years after dairying had become established, farmers raised their 
own stock by selecting calves from their best cows, and in this way the 
milking stock was greatly improved. The early settlers along the Mo • 
hawk came mostly from Germany and Holland, and they brought with 
them and reared here what was known as the " Dutch cow." She was 


medium in size, black and white, often red and white, very hardy, a 
good feeder and of deep millving habit. The early dairymen got their 
best cows from this breed, specimens of which are now rarely seen, 
for as the price of cheese advanced, the practice of filling up the herds 
with stock driven from otlier counties, often from remote localities, ob- 
tained ; and although this means of keeping good the herd was more 
or less deprecated by farmers as unsatisfactory, still the practice grew 
and became pretty general. 

About the year 1830 Christian Sharer, of the town of Little Falls, 
introduced the pure-blooded Short-Horn Durhams, and subsequently 
Mr. Wakeman, of Herkimer, and others brought into the county the 
same breed. Mr. Sharer, we believe, made a voyage to England, bring- 
ing back with him some of this breed. This st;ck had the reputation 
of being good milkers, and they were crossed to some extent through 
the county on the native or common cow, the offspring proving to be 
superior milkers Mr. Sharer, it is believed, was the first to introduce 
thoroughbred milk stock into the county. He owned at the time a large 
and excellent dairy farm about two and a half miles north of the village 
of Little Falls, where he kept a herd of forty cows or more, and was 
considered a thrifty and prosperous farmer. 

As years went on other pure-blooded animals of different breeds were 
introduced, namely, the Devon, the Ayrshire, and more recently the 
Jersey and Dutch or Holstein breeds. Mr. A. L. Fish, of Winfield, 
was among the first to try Ayrshires ; General P. F. Bellinger, of Her- 
kimer, Jerseys ; and Hon. W. I. Skinner, of Little Falls, Ayrshires and 

Within the last ten or a dozen years the attention of farmers has been 
turned to the improvement of dairy stock, and many dairymen are now 
crossing the thoroughbred Ayrshire, the Jersey or the Holstein on the 
common cows of the country ; and the result has been quite satisfactory 
in obtaining deep milking stock. 

Cheese-dairying — Herkimer county may justly claim the honor of 
giving birth to cheese-dairying as a specialty in America. It was from 
Herkimer county that the business began to spread to the adjoining 
counties, and from thence to the different States and to Canada. In 
many instances Herkimer county dairymen, removing to distant lo- 


calities, were the first to plant the business in their new homes ; while 
in many sections cheese- dairying was commenced by drawing upon 
Herlvimer for cheese makers to manage the dairies. Often, too, par- 
ties were sent into the county to obtain a knowledge of cheese- making, 
and returning home carried the art into new districts. Thus for many 
years Herkimer was the great center from which the new districts 
drew the necessary information and skill for prosecuting the business of 
cheese dairying with profit and success. 

Cheese was made in small quantities in the county as early as 1800. 
In 1785 a number of persons emigrating from New England settled in 
the town of Fairfield ; among them may be named Cornelius Chatfield, 
Benjamin Bowen, Nathan Arnold, John Bucklin, Daniel Fenner, Nathan 
Smith, the Eatons and Neelys, Peter and Bela Ward, Nathaniel and 
William Brown and others. Some of these families, coming from 
Cheshire, Mass., brought with them a practical knowledge of the 
method by which cheese was made in a small way in Cheshire. 
But notable among these families were Nathan Arnold, Daniel Fen- 
ner and the Browns, who settled in the southern part of the town of 
Fairfield and near each other. Arnold's wife was a cheese- maker, and 
he is the first, it is believed, who began cheese dairying in the county. 
He came into the county poor, but he was rich in- health and strength. 

Except along the Mohawk nearly the whole county was then a dense 
forest. Brant, the famous Mohawk chief, and his bloody warriors had 
been gone several years, but traces of their pillage and murders were 
fresh among the early settlers in the valley and along the river. The 
old Dutch heroine, Mrs. Shell, whose part in the defense of the family 
fort has been related, was then living a few miles east of Fort Dayton. 
The house stood on the black slate hills rising near the Mohawk to the 
north, overlooking a long line of charming scenery. Beyond was a 
valley and a still higher elevation. Here the sturdy young New 
Englander picked his land. His strong arms felled the timber over 
many acres. He built his log house and established his herd upon the 

From such a beginning sprung the mighty giant that is now stalking 
over the continent, dotting the land with countless herds. 

From 1800 to 1826 cheese-dairying had become pretty general in 
Herkimer county, but the herds were mostly small. As early as 181 2— 


i6, the largest herds, numbering about forty cows each, were those be- 
longing to William Ferris, Samuel Carpenter, Nathan Salisbury and Isaac 
Smith, in the northern part of the county, and they were regarded as 
extraordinary for their size. 

About 1826 the business began to be established in the adjoining 
counties, in single dairies, here and there, and generally by persons 
emigrating from Herkimer county. The implements and appurtenances 
of the dairy were then very rude. The milking was done in open yards, 
and milking barns were unknown. The milk was curded in wooden 
tubs, the curd cut with a long wooden knife and broken with the hands ; 
the cheeses were pressed in log presses standing exposed to the weather. 
The cheeses were generally thin and small. They were held through 
the season, and in the fall, when ready for market, they were packed in 
rough casks made for the purpose and shipped to dififerent localities for 
home consumption Prices in these days were low, ranging from 4 cents 
to 6 cents per pound. The leading buyers previous to 1826 were W. 
Ferris & Robert Nesbith, from Massachusetts. Nesbith was a Quaker 
and is remembered as having a sober, sedate countenance. Ferris, his 
partner, was of a more gay and festive turn. 

Their manner of conducting operations was often shrewd. Nesbith, 
it is said, generally went his rounds first, visiting every dairy, and we 
are told that he knew how to impress dairymen in regard to the inferior- 
ity of their goods, and to raise serious doubts in the minds of many as 
to whether cheese could be marketed at anything like living rates. He 
spoke of the difficulties of trade and the pressure of the money market, 
and was not exactly prepared to purchase, though sometimes in excep- 
tional cases he was prevailed upon to buy certain small lots at low fig- 
ures. By the time he got through his visitation the dairymen were feel- 
ing somewhat discouraged, and were ready to make easy terms with any 
buyer. Then Ferris made his appearance, and his off hand, generous 
way of doing business somehow carried the conviction that he was an 
operator willing to pay to the last cent the value of the goods. His 
prices were considerably better than those offered by his partner Nes- 
bith, and as this partnership was not known to the dairymen, the latter 
eagerly closed their sales, with the impression that good bargains had 
been made. 


In 1826 Harry Burrell, of Salisbury, Herkimer county, then a young 
man full of enterprise and courage, having learned something of the 
markets and the sly methods of Ferris & Nesbith, resolved to enter the 
field as their competitor. He pushed his operations with great vigor, 
and bought a large share of the cheese at a price above that figured by 
the Massachusetts firm. He afterwards became the chief dealer in dairy 
goods in Central New York, often purchasing the entire product of cheese 
made in the United States. 

Mr. Burrell was the first to open a cheese trade with England, com- 
mencing shipping as a venture about the year 1830 or 1832 at the sug- 
gestion of the late Erastus Corning, of Albany. The first shipment was 
about 10,000 pounds. He was the first, also, to send cheese to Phila- 
delphia, shipping to B. & B. Cooper in 1828 and to Jonathan Palmer in 
1830 and 1832. Mr. Burrell is still in the trade, 1 though over eighty 
years of age, and has shipped cheese abroad every year during the past 
fifty years, his shipments in the summer of 1878 being about a thousand 
boxes a week. He is among the few American dealers who have 
amassed a large fortune in the trade, and by his strict integrity and hon- 
est dealing has ever retained the confidence of dairymen. He has in- 
vested his means largely in real estate from time to time, and has many 
excellent dairy farms in Herkimer and in other counties of the State. 
He has for the past twenty years or more resided at Little Falls. 

From 1836 to i860 several Herkimer county merchants had entered 
the field as cheese buyers, the most notable of whom were Samuel Perry, 
of Newport, V. S. Kenyon, of Middleville, A. H. Buel, of Fairfield, Perry 
& Sweezy, of Newport, Benjamin Silliman, of Salisbury, Lorenzo Carryl, 
then of Salisbury, Frederick and James H. Ives, Roger Bamber, of Stark, 
Simeon Osborne, of Herkimer, and several others. Cheese, during this 
time, was usually bought on long credits, the dealers going through the 
country and purchasing the entire lot of cheese made or to be made 
during the season, advancing a small part of the money, and agreeing 
to pay the balance on the first of January following. Failures would 
occur from time to time, and the farmers selling to these unfortunate 
speculators not unfrequently lost the bulk of their labor for the season. 

' Mr. Burrell died several years since, and his business is still carried on by his sons, D.H. and E. 
S. Burrell. 


Up to 1840 the dairymen of Herkimer bad made but little improve- 
ment in farm buildings or in tlie appliances for the dairy. Lands were 
comparatively cheap, and it was no unusual thing for men with little or 
no means to buy farms and pay for them by dairying. About this time 
or a little earlier the smaller farms of the county began to be absorbed 
by well-to-do dairymen, and the plan of renting farms, on what is known 
as the " two- fifths system," began to be adopted. We think Mr. Burrell 
was the first to regulate this system of leasing in all its details, and, having 
quite a number of farms to rent, he established a uniform rate which 
soon became a standard all over the county where dairy farms were to 
be rented. 

By 1840 farmers had become so prosperous from dairying that they 
began to pay more attention to the care and management of stock. 
They not only looked more closely to the comfort of the herds, but 
" milking barns " for their own convenience and comfort began to be 
pretty generally substituted for the open yard in milking. About this 
time, also, the first dairy steamer for making cheese was brought out by 
Mr. G. Farmer, of Herkimer. It consisted of a boiler for the genera- 
tion of steam, attached to a stove or furnace, with a pipe for conveying 
steam from the boiler to the milk- vat, which was of tin, surrounded by 
a wooden vat, on the same principle as the " milk- vats" now in use. A 
branch of the steam pipe was connected with a tub for heating water, 
for washing utensils, etc., used in the dairy. This apparatus, of course, 
was a crude affair compared with the modern, highly-improved cheese 
vat and steam boiler, but it was the first invention of the kind, and led 
to grand results in labor-saving appliances in the dairy In about ten 
years after Farmer's invention, which was extensively introduced in 
Herkimer and other counties, William G. Young, of Cedarville, brought 
out the steel curd-knife, which was a great improvement over the wire 
and tin cutters that Mr. Truman Cole, of Fairfield, had invented, and 
had got into general use. The log presses were also fast going out of 
use — their places being supplied by the Kendal press. The Taylor and 
Oysten presses, both invented by Herkimer county men, were further 
improvements brought out between 1850 and i860. 

From 1850 to i860 dairying began to assume formidable proportions. 
Prices had gradually risen from 5 cents to 7 cents, ftom 7 cents to 9 


cents, and the business was considered more prosperous than any other 
farm industry. During this period the farmers of Herkimer county had 
generally acquired wealth or a substantial competence, and tliis was 
shown in their improved buildings and premises. 

In 1857 Mr. Jesse Williams, of Rome, Oneida county (a dairyman 
who had learned cheese- making in Herkimer), conceived the idea of the 
factory sy.stem, but it did not begin to attract much attention until i860, 
when plans were inaugurated for testing the system in Herkimer. The 
first factories were erected by Avery & Ives, of Salisbury, and by Mr. 
Shell, of Russia, and were located in the respective towns of the builders, 
who were also the proprietors of these establishments. The system did 
not spread so rapidly at first in Herkimer as it has in some new sections, 
because cheese-making was better understood by the mass of farmers 
here than elsewhere; and the cheese of Herkimer having a high repu- 
tation in many of the large dairies, the dairymen were at first a little 
doubtful as to the success of the factories. They, however, soon wheeled 
into line, and now the last State census gives the number of factories in 
the county in 1874 at eighty-eight, aggregating a capital of $235,070, 
and paying out annually in wages the sum of $48,181. 

The number of cows in the county whose milk was sent to the facto- 
ries that year was 32,372, and in 1875 34.070- The number of patrons 
was 1,303. 

In i860 Samuel Perry, of New York, formerly of Herkimer county, 
attempted to control the entire export product of American dairies. He 
sent his agents early in the season throughout the whole dairy sections 
of New York and Ohio, then the only two States from which cheese 
was exported, and they contracted for him the bulk of the farm-dairies 
at an average price of from 8 cents to 10 cents per pound. 

The cheese was bought in the usual way, on credit, a small sum being 
paid during the summer, while the final settlement and payment were to 
be made in January. 

Mr. Perry, by offering a penny or so per pound more than other deal- 
ers believed the market would warrant, was enabled to secure almost 
the entire make of the season. A great disaster, as is well known, fol- 
lowed this purchase. Much of the cheese was badly made and badly 
cured, and it became worthless in his hands. Sales could not be made 


in England to cover cost. The approaching war caused troublous times, 
and cut off our Southern trade. Financial difficulties at the opening of 
i86l were frequent and pressing, and the great merchant in a large 
number of cases could not meet his engagements, and many dairymen 
remained unpaid. The lesson was a severe one to all concerned, but it 
was useful in this — that ever afterwards dairymen in Herkimer have been 
cautious in selling on long credits, while no one dealer, single handed, 
has since that time attempted to control a product which from its mag- 
nitude is beyond the grasp of one man's means and resources. 

It is perhaps justice to Mr. Perry to say that he battled manfidly 
against the adverse turn in trade, and had it not been for the breaking 
out of the war would doubtless have met all his liabilities, though of 
course at a fearful loss. 

The Cheese Market at Little Falls. — The following year, i86l, dairy- 
men and dealers began to meet at Little Falls on certain days of the 
week for the purpose of making transactions in cheese. There was a 
large number of home dealers, some of them acting as agents for New 
York, Philadelphia and Baltimore houses, while others were seeking 
transactions on their own account. The fact, I think, that so many 
dairymen had lost money the previous year, and the desire on their 
part to sell for cash or on short credits, helped to start " sales day," or 
a public market at Little Falls. Dairymen commenced in the spring 
to bring small parcels of cheese into town on Mondays, offering it for 
sale to resident dealers, and transactions were readily made. The buy- 
ers soon learned that it was easier to test samples from the different 
dairies as they were brought to market than to make a special journey 
over bad country roads to look at cheese which they were not certain 
could be bought at market rates. It is quite different, they argued, 
whether the cheese is brought to town or lies on the shelf. When a 
dairyman brings his goods to market he is ready to sell. If the cheese 
is on the shelf in his curing room he may not be ready until he has in- 
quired as to the market, or seen some particular buyer. The seller, on 
the other hand, found an advantage in bringing his goods to town, be- 
cause he could show them to different buyers, and thus get a greater 
number of bids than he would be likely to obtain if his product remained 
in his dairy house. So, by mutual consent, each party, seeing an ad- 


vantage in it, embraced the plan, and " market days" for the sale of 
dairy products at Little Falls were inaugurated. At first two days in 
the week, Mondays and Wednesdays, were agreed upon, and the plan 
worked well and was satisfactory to all concerned. Soon dealers from 
New York and other cities began to visit the market, making such se- 
lections as desired, while the dairymen, selling for cash and meeting 
with buyers who were ready to compete for their goods, were so pleased 
with the arrangement that they did not care to dispose of their cheese 
in any other way. 

On some market days previous to 1864 hundreds of farmers have 
been in the streets near the railway depot, each with his wagon loaded 
with cheese boxed and marked with his name ; while some twenty or 
more buyers were scattered among them and passsing from wagon to 
wagon. Some from New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and 
other cities, with an occasional shipper from England, could be seen ex- 
amining, boring, tasting, smelling and making bids for the loads. 

In 1864 the first weekly reports of the Little Falls market, then and 
now the largest interior dairy market in the world, began to be made 
by the writer in the Utica Morning Herald. Previous to 1864 farmers 
relied on cit)' quotations, which were sometimes thought to be in the 
merchants' favor. Indeed so sharp was tne competition at Little Falls 
that the prices paid at this market every week were not unfrequently 
above New York quotations, and dairymen from other sections sought 
eagerly for these reports before selling. The factories also were sending 
their salesmen on the market not only from Herkimer, but from the 
adjoining counties, the " sales day" now being on Monday only of each 
week. From 1864 to 1870 the Little Falls cheese market had acquired 
so high a reputation that it was considered the center of the trade in 
America, and its weekly transactions had a controlling influence in 
establishing prices at the seaboard. Reports of the market at its close 
were telegraphed not only to parties engaged in the trade in our lead- 
ing cities, but to the great cheese centers of Liverpool and London. 
During this time, besides a great number of farm-dairymen attending 
the market weekly, salesmen from three hundred factories have some- 
times been present, while the regular list of factories doing business in 
the market numbered about two hundred. The quantity of cheese an- 


nually sold on the market has been estimated at 25,000,000 to 30,000,- 
000 pounds, but the actual shipment of dairy produce from the county 
was considerably less, as the factories, after selling their goods by sam- 
ple, shipped them at the railroad depots nearest the factory. 

The following table, made up from records kept at the railroad and 
canal freight depots within the limits of Herkimer county, will siiow 
the surplus make of butter and cheese in Herkimer county during the 
time referred to. The quantity consumed in the county is not known, 
but if added would make the product much larger: 


1864 16,767,999 492,673 

1865 16,808,352 313,756 

1866 18,172,913 232,961 

1867 16,772,031 204,385 

1868.. 15,734,920 341,632 

1869 15,570,487 204,634 

Up to 1 87 1 the cheese and butter market at Little Falls had been 
held for the most part in the open street, but early in January of that 
year steps were taken to organize a Dairy Board of Trade for the State, 
with headquarters at Little Falls, — that being then the chief and only 
interior dairy market in the country. In pursuance of this resolution a 
call for a public meeting at Little Falls in February was made, and 
widely circulated through the newspapers of the State. The meeting 
was largely attended by leading dairymen and others from different 
parts of the State, and Judge George A. Hardin was called to the chair, 
when an association was formed under the name of "The New York 
State Dairymen's Association and Board of Trade." 

This was the first " Dairymen's Board of Trade " organized on the 
continent, and soon after publishing and sending out circulars giving 
the plan for organizing such boards, other parts of the country started 
similar associations, Elgin, III, being first to follow, and then Utica, 
N. Y. The plan spread rapidly through the dairy sections of this State 
and in other States, and now many dairy centers in different States and 
Canada have their dairy boards of trade at which merchants and sel- 
lers meet on regular market days for the transaction of business in 
dairy goods. The telegraph is here brought into requisition, and sellers 
go upon the market knowing something of the demand and the price 


on both sides of the Atlantic. At the interior markets competition 
always runs high, and merchants sometimes complain tiiat margins are 
narrow and money not so easily made as when the goods were bought 
at the factory on city quotations. Be this as it may, the dairymen 
now have a sort of commercial education. They study the markets, 
home and foreign, and they judge when it is best to realize on their 

The first officers chosen by "The New York State Dairymen's Asso- 
ciation and Board of Trade " were : X. A. Willard, president ; Watts T. 
Loomis, recording secretary; Josiah ShuU, corresponding secretary; 
David H. Burrell, treasurer; with six directors, all of whom the consti- 
tution provides shall be elected annually. The annual meetings of the 
society occur in February of each year at Little Falls, though conven- 
tions are held during the winter in different parts of the State ; they 
have been held at Little Falls ; Sinclairville, Chautauqua county ; at 
Binghamton, Broome county; at Norwich, Chenango county; at 
Elmira, Chemung county; two or more at Utica, Oneida county; and 
others elsewhere. These conventions have been very largely attended, 
and have done an important work in aiding the progress of dairy- 
husbandry in the State. 

Soon after the organization of the society, the citizens of Little Falls 
with commendable liberality contributed several hundred dollars for the 
erection and fitting up of a board of trade room, and it was completed 
in good style under the supervision of J. W. Cronkhite,-of Little Fatts: 

When we consider that the annual product of cheese in America now 
amounts to 350,000,000 pounds, of which 130,000,000 pounds are an- 
nually exported, while the annual butter crop is not far from 1,000,- 
000,000 pounds, all must admit that Herkimer county has a record in 
the history of dairying of which her citizens may well be proud. Mr. 
Moulton, in his recent address at the international dairy fair at New 
York, December 7, 1878, stated that within the last twenty years the 
export of cheese alone has been 1,163,000,000 pounds; and the total 
value of exported butter and cheese during the same time was $185,- 
000,000. During the last ten years 885,000,000 pounds of cheese have 
been shipped abroad. Nearly all the factory cheese made in Herkimer 
county goes to England, and many of our factories have a deservedly 


high reputation among Engh'sh shippers for the style and fine quality 
of their goods. 

Many of the factories, like Old Fairfield, Newville, Eatonsville, Man- 
heim, Middleville, Grain's Corners, the Newport factories, managed by 
Mr. Babcock, some of the Winfield factories and others in the various 
towns throughout the county, are so well known abroad for the excel- 
lence of their product that orders are often sent from England to agents 
here to secure the weekly shipments. 

Butter-making has never been extensively practiced as a specialty in 
Herkimer county, although considerable quantities of butter are made 
in the spring and fall in connection with cheese manufacture. The usual 
plan, in these seasons, when milk is delivered at the factories, is to allow 
farmers to skim one day's milk, or the night mess of milk, and then de- 
liver the skimmed milk. In farm dairies the milk is set for a longer or 
shorter period, and the skimmed milk made into cheese. But this 
practice obtains for tiie most part only in spring and fall, while some 
of the factories will not allow any skimming, believing that a high repu- 
tation can only be maintained by manufacturing at all times nothing 
but " full-milk cheese." A few creameries have from time to time been 
operated in the county. Among the earliest establishments of this 
kind may be named the Car Creamery, of Salisbury ; the Nichols, of 
Norway ; the Barto Hill and North Fairfield, and the Whitman & 
Burrell factory, near Little Falls. 

Since the foregoing paper was written but few changes have taken 
place in cheese- dairying in Herkimer county. The annual production of 
dairy products shows slight fluctuations from year to year but has neither 
materially increased nor decreased. The changes which have occurred 
have been mostly along the line of advanced methods in manufacture, 
the introduction of improved machinery into cheese and butter factories 
and of better blood into dairy herds. The machine recently invented 
by Dr. Babcock, of the Wisconsin l^xperiment Station, Madison, Wis., 
for testing milk to determine the amount of its butter fats, is now in use 
in some creameries and factories, while the separator is quite extensively 
employed in the manufacture of butter. 


Dairymen are giving more attention to means for increasing the capac- 
ity of their herds, both with regard to production and quaHty of milk. 
The introduction of full-blooded males of the Holstein Friesian, Jersey 
and Guernsey breeds, for the accomplishment of this end, is conse- 
quently receiving considerable attention, which, with better care and 
management, is gradually improving the average of the dairy cows of 
the county. The silo, too, is beginning to command attention from 
the most progressive dairy farmers, a dozen or more being in successful 
operation in different localities in the county. A movement is also be- 
ing made in the direction of winter dairying, which bids fair to add new 
impetus to this already important and prosperous industry. 

With regard to the cheese market at Little Falls : While there has been 
no material increase or decrease in the annual transactions since 1878, 
yet very much less cheese is being sold for shipment abroad, fully three- 
fifths of the product manufactured in 1892 having been purchased for 
home consumption. It is gratifying to note that the demand from this 
source is steadily increasing and that, without doubt, in a few years all 
the cheese made in the county will find an outlet through home mar- 

The importance of the dairy industry in Herkimer county will be 
better appreciated by consulting the following table showing the trans- 
actions of the Little Falls market for 1892, and also comparative sta- 
tistics with other years : 

April 25 

May 2... 

June 6.. 

July 4- 
















September 5- 

October 3. 

November 7. 










28 I 6.136 

Total I 182,785 










Total number of boxes 

Number of pounds per box. 

Number of pounds sold,. 
Average price per pound. 

Value of season's cheese. _. 
Add value of dairy cheese. 



Total value.- -J _. $1,918,662.88 

Comparing this result with thai of the two previous years, the fol- 
lowing differences will appear : 

Number of boxes sold, including dairy 345*059 

Highest price.-- - .-_ loc.^. 

Lowest price - _ 6c'i. 

Average high for year ___ .0873 

Average low for year -0793 

General average _ 0836 

Value of cheese in 1890 - - 

Value of cheese in 1891 

Value of cheese in 1892 - -- ._. 

Difference in favor of 1892 __ - ,_. 








ALTHOUGH as a distinct county our records are comparatively re- 
cent, the early history of the Bench and Bar of Herkimer county 
takes us back to judicial systems very different from those with which ue 
are now familiar and very similar to those of England. For the British 
governors after the peace of Westminster introduced such of the courts 
of the mother country from time to time as seemed adapted to the new 
colonies; and although our constitution of 1777 abolished such as were 
hostile to the democratic sentiments of the new era, it preserved with 
considerable entirety the legal fictions and the judicial systems of its 
inheritance. It was thus that the new county of Herkimer found in 
existence such courts as the Common Pleas, Chancery, Court of Pro- 
bate, Court for the Trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors, 
and others long since abolished or merged in those of the present day. 
The old Assizes had already passed away and the Federal constitution 
had taken from the State the Court of Admiralty ; but most of those 
mentioned above still attested our early relations with the complex 
system of England. 

During the exciting times succeeding the administration of the 
tyrannical Governor Andros, and just after the execution of Leisler and 
the arrival of Governor Slaughter, and while the charter of liberties 
was agitating our colony, the Court for the Correction of Errors and 
hearing of appeals was established. It consisted of the Governor and 
Council, its powers resembling those of our present court of final resort. 
The Revolution necessitated a change which gave rise to the Court for 
the Trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors. The consti- 
tution of 1846 which made so many changes in our judicial system, 
entirely remodeled this court. It divided it, in fact, creating the Court 
of Appeals in place of the Court for the Correction of Errors, and 
leaving the Court for Trial of Impeachments still composed of the 


Senate and its president, togetlier with the judges of the new court. 
The convention of 1867—68 reorganized the Court of Appeals, and in 
1869 the people ratified the change, which resulted in the present court 
of final resort. 

On account of the great mass of accumulated business, a Commission 
of Appeals was created in 1870, continuing until 1875, possessing sub- 
stantially the powers of its sister court, , and designed to relieve the 
latter. In 1888 the Legislature passed a concurrent resolution that 
section 6 of article 6 of the constitution be amended so that upon the 
certificate of the Court of Appeals to the governor of such an accumu- 
lation of causes on the calendar ot the Court of Appeals that the public 
interest required a more speedy disposition thereof, the governor may 
designate seven justices of the Supreme Court to act as associate judges 
for the time being of the Court of Appeals, and to form a second 
division of that court, and to be dissolved by the governor when the 
said causes are substantially disposed of This amendment was sub- 
mitted to the people of the State at the general election of that year 
and was ratified, and in accordance therewith the governor selected 
seven Supreme Court justices, who were constituted the second division 
of the Court of Appeals. 

The Supreme Court's jurisdiction as it now exists is a combination 
of very diverse elements. The powers and jurisdictions of the Court 
of Chancery, the Court of Exchequer, the Court of Common Pleas, the 
Court of Oyer and Terminer, Probate Court, the Circuit Court and the 
Supreme Court proper, have all been combined to make up this im- 
portant branch of the judicial system. But during our early county 
history several of these courts existed independently of each other, 
some of the early lawyers of Herkimer county being among their mem- 
bers. The Court of Chancery, which had been organized when the 
Court of Assizes was abolished, in 1683, was the beginning of the 
equity branch of the present Supreme Court. It was reorganized 
shortly after the Revolution and, with some slight modifications by the 
constitution of 1821, and by subsequent enactments, it continued until 
1846, when it was merged into the new Supreme Court. Equity 
jurisdiction and powers are now exercised by the Supreme Court, its 
judges having powers that were formerly possessed by the chancellor. 


The Court of Exchequer, having been erected in 1685, was made a 
branch of the old Supreme Court just after the Revolution, and so con- 
tinued until finally abolished in 1830. In our earliest colonial history 
there had been a Court of Oyer and Terminer, but it was discontinued 
during the time of King William, its name, however, surviving to 
designate the criminal part held with the circuit. This brings us to the 
old Supreme and Circuit Court, with which the Court of Chancery 
united under the constitution of 1846, to complete the principal branch 
of our present system. In the early part of the century the Supreme 
Court of the State consisted of five justices. It had been the practice 
to hold four terms a year, two in Albany and two in New York ; but 
previous to that time and in the closing years of the last century, the 
circuit system was established somewhat on the plan of that of Eng- 
land. It was enacted that the judges should, during their vacations, 
hold courts in the various counties of the State, and return the pro- 
ceedings to the Supreme Court when it convened again, when they 
should be recorded and judgments rendered. A few years later the 
system was simplified by the division of the State into four judicial 
districts. To each of these districts was assigned a judge whose duty 
it was to hold circuits in each of the counties therein at least once in 
each year. It had already been enacted that the Courts of Oyer and 
Terminer (the criminal part, presided over by a Justice of the Supreme 
Court) should be held at the same time and place with the circuit, 
and should consist of the circuit judge, assisted by two or more of 
the judges of the Court of Common Pleas of the county. The circuit 
system was very similar to the present, excepting that our Special 
Terms are substituted for the Court of Chancery. 

After the constitution of 1821, the State was divided as at present 
into eight judicial districts, each being provided with a circuit judge, 
in whom were vested certain equity powers, subject to appeal to the 
Chancery Court; while the Supreme Court proper held much the same 
position as the present General Term. In 1846 the new constitution 
abolished the Court of Chancery, giving the powers theretofore held by 
it to the Supreme Court, which it reorganized substantially as it exists 
to-day. Such is the history in brief of the higher courts of this county 
and State. 


The system of local judicature was also changed to correspond with 
that of the State at large. The Court of Common Pleas, organized 
contemporaneously with the colonial Court for the Correction of Errors 
and Appeals, has given way to the County Court; while the offices of 
county judge and surrogate have been combined where the county pop- 
ulation does not exceed forty thousand During the eighteenth century 
the Court of Common Pleas consisted of a first judge assisted by two or 
more associates, all of whom were appointed by the governor. Its 
powers were very similar to those of the present County Court, the 
associate justices corresponding to the justices of sessions on the present 
criminal bench. The constitution of 1846 abolished the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas and created the County Court and Court of Sessions as they 
exist to-day. 

The Surrogate's Court has undergone less changes than any of those 
we have described. In early times and before the Dutch supremacy 
was overcome by the English, there had been a short-lived Orphan's 
Court. Then the English government introduced the Prerogative Court, 
which in turn was superseded by the Court of Probates after the Rev- 
olution. Surrogates were then appointed in each county, having much 
the same powers as at present. This was the system down to 1823, 
when the Court of Chancery took the place of the Court of Probates in 
hearing appeals from the decisions of surrogates ; but the office of sur- 
rogate remained as before. 

Our Justices' Courts and Courts of Special Sessions have remained 
substantially unchanged since the colonial period. The office of dis- 
trict attorney has undergone much change. Early in the century this 
State was divided into seven districts for each of which there was an 
assistant attorney-general. The present office, as distinct from the at- 
torney-generalship, was created in 1801. Since 18 18 each county has 
had its own district attorney. 

Previous to the erection of Herkimer county in 1 791, the judicial 
afifairs of the people where conducted at Whitestown in what is now 
Oneida county, and there the court-house and jail were situated. Upon 
the division of the county the records were kept by Oneida county. 
The proceedings of the Board of Supervisors for 1795 contain a record 
of the steps taken for the erection of the public buildings at Whitestown. 


The committee having the work in charge made a report which con- 
tained the following : 

The committee proceeded to make the apportionment, as follows, for the respective 
towns to pay, viz.: Herkimer, 140; German Flats, 185; Norway, 95; Steuben, PO; 
Whites (Whitestown) 150; Schuyler, 90; Brookfielil, 23 ; Oazenovia, 30 ; Sauferfield, 
20; Hamilton, 22; Sherburn, 15; Westmoreland, 60 ; Paris, 120. 

The buildings at Whitestown were erected in 1793-4 and were used 
until Oneida county was taken from Herkimer in 1798. 

The first court house for the use of the present Herkimer county 
stood on the site of the one now located at Herkimer village, and was a 
plain two-story wooden building. It stood until January 25, 1S34, 
when it was burned with other property near it. It was a fortunate fire, 
for the building was a discredit to the community and of very little 
actual value. The jail, which was on the ground floor, would not con- 
fine a prisoner, unless he was a paralytic, and no one mourned its loss. 

On the 31st of March, 1834, the Legislature authorized the super- 
visors to borrow from the common school fund, on the credit of the 
county, $4,600 with which to build a new court-house, and directed 
that a tax of $500 a year be levied on the county to pay the loan. 
Francis E. Spinner, Arphaxed Loomis, and Prentice Yeomans were 
named in the act as commissioners to superintend the erection of the 
building. The building was of brick and sufficed for the needs of the 
county for about forty years. When the erection of this building was 
contemplated an effort was made by citizens of Little Falls and vicinity 
to have the county seat removed to that place; but the effort was un- 

In the year 1873 the present court-house was built on the site of the 
old one, which was taken down. The new structure was designed to 
accommodate the increasing business of the county, and it is admirably 
adapted for the purpose. It contains offices for the judges and surro- 
gate, rooms for the supervisors, etc., and cost $45,000. 

The jail, on the opposite corner from the court-house, was erected 
after the burning of the old court-house and finished in 1835, at a cost 
of $10,300. It is a substantial building and convenient for its purpose. 
Edmund Varney, Cornelius T. E. Van Horn, Isaac S. Ford, Jacob F. 
Christman, Warner Folts, Frederick P. Bellinger and Charles Gray were 
the building commissioners. , 


The county clerk's office stands in the same grounds with the court- 
house, and is a substantial fire-proof structure. It was erected in 1847 
by Aaron Hall. 

Among the members of the bar of Herkimer county have been and 
now are many men of eminence in their profession. It is peculiarly 
appropriate that those whose attainments and public life are worthy of 
remembrance should receive recognition in a history of this county. 
Among the very early judges in the courts of the county were some 
who have already been properly mentioned in these pages, notably 
Judge Henri Staring, of Schuyler. Another, who was for many years 
a justice of the peace, was Sherman Wooster, of Newport. He was 
also appointed one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas in 
April, 1828, held the office one term and declined a reappointment. In 
1822 he was elected to the State Senate, and made for himself an ex- 
cellent record during a very stormy session. In 1832 he was elected 
to the Assembly. In these various offices Mr. Wooster exhibited ster- 
ling qualities and more than average ability. He died in Newport in 


Evans Wharry filled a prominent place in the early history of the 
county at the close of the war in 1783. He was a native of Orange 
county, N. Y., and took an active part in the Revolution. He settled 
in this county in 1785-6, and purchased a tract of land, which em- 
braced the home where he died, near Little Falls. This home is now 
known as the X. A. Willard farm and is still occupied by his descendants. 
He was a practical surveyor and was much engaged in that occupation. 
He was appointed one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas 
and a justice of the peace in 1798, and held those offices until 1805, 
when he was commissioned first judge, on the resignation of John 
Meyer. Under this appointment Judge Wharry held the office until he 
was sixty years old, the then constitutional limit. He was elected to 
the Assembly in 1800, and was one of the delegates from this county 
to the convention called by the Legislature in 1801. He was again 
elected to the Assembly in 1803 and 1804. He was an active and suc- 
cessful politician, and during the Revolution was a personal acquaintance 
of Washington, Hamilton, Burr, and other distinguished leaders. He 
served his country well and faithfully, and died in 1831, at his home in 
the town of Little Falls. 




Edmund Varney came to the town of Russia in 1809, when it was 
a wilderness and became a successful farmer. He was born in Dutchess 
county in 1778. In 1812 he was appointed a justice of the peace, which 
office he held twenty- five successive years ; was clerk of the town many 
years, and five years one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas, 
after 1823. He was also supervisor five years, master in chancery, etc. 
In 1825 he was elected to the Assembly, and in 1841 to the State Sen- 
ate from the fourth district. Elevated in principle, and urbane in 
manner, he secured the respect and confidence of his associates and of 
the community. He died in Russia December 2, 1847. 

In our history of Fairfield may be found some account of Nathan 
Smith, a pioneer of that town in 1790. He was a merchant, in con- 
nection with his brothers William and Samuel, and became a suc- 
cessful and prominent politician. In 1798 he was in the Legislature, 
and again in 1801 and 1802, He was appointed a judge of the Court 
of Common Pleas and justice of the peace in March, 1805, and in 1808 
and 181 1. He was chosen a senator in 1805 and held the office two 
full terms, by a re-election. In 1808 he was chosen as one of the 
council of appointment. During his incumbency in the Senate impor- 
tant legislation relating to the banks, as well as other matters, was en- 
acted, and Judge Smith demonstrated therein his fitness and ability as 
a legislator. After the close of his senatorial term he was appointed, 
in 1 8 14, first judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and resigned in 1 821. 
He died at Fairfield October 7, 1836, aged sixty- seven years. 

George Rosecrantz was a son of Rev. Abraham Rosecrantz, the noted 
early German preacher. He was born on Fall Hill March 15, 1764, 
and died December 21, 1838, at the place of his birth. At the age of 
thirty-five he was chosen to the State convention with Evans Wharry 
and Matthias B. Tallmadge (1801) and in 1805 was appointed judge of 
the Court of Common Pleas, which office he held until 1821. In 1812 
he was appointed by the Legislature one of the electors, and voted for 
De Witt Clinton. He was member of Assembly from the county in 
1817 and 18 1 8, and was chosen State senator in the spring of 181 8. 
He possessed sound sense and discriminating judgment, and was indus- 
trious and diligent in his official duties. 

Jacob Marke!!, of Manheim, born in Schenectady May 8, 1770, oc- 
cupied a position on the county bench. While Manheim was still a 


part of Montgomery county he was made judge of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas and was elected to Congress during the war of i8l2. He 
was elected to the Assembly from Herkimer county in 1819. He 
" was very methodical in all his business affairs, and with other qualities 
possessed a shrewd and intelligent mind which, from long practice, had 
become considerably imbued witii legal principles." He died in Man- 
heim November 26, 1852. 

Sanders Lansing was born in Albany June 17, 1766, and was the 
youngest of four brothers. Educated to the legal profession, he re- 
moved to this county with his family in 1820 and settled at Little 
Falls He was chosen delegate to the convention of 1821 with Sher- 
man Wooster and Richard Van Horn, and was appointed a judge of 
the Court of Common Pleas in March, 1821 ; reappointed in 1823 and 
held the office until 1828. He also was master in chancery and a com- 
missioner to perform' certain duties of a justice of the Supreme Court at 
Chambers. Judge Lansing was most scrupulous in his faithful attend- 
ance upon his official duties, was pure in character, and enjoyed the es- 
teem of his fellows. He died in Manheim, where he lived a few years, 
September 19, 1850. 

Michael Hoffman was born October 11, 1787, in Saratoga county. 
He began the study of medicine early in life, and obtained a diploma 
in 1807 ; began studying law in the following year and was admitted an 
attorney in 1815. In 1816 he was associated with Aaron Hackley at 
Herkimer, where Mr. Hackley had established himself in 1807. Mr. 
Hoffman, by assiduous attention to his profession and his native qualifi- 
cations, early placed himself in the foremost rank of attorneys. As 
early as 1 8 19 he began active participation in politics and about the 
same time removed to Seneca county, but returned in a few years and 
resumed practice in Herkimer; was appointed district attorney in 1823, 
and again in 1836, resigning in the following September. In 1S24 he 
was elected to Congress, in which body he occupied a distinguished 
position during four terms on committees and in debate. On his re- 
tirement from Congress he was appointed canal commissioner, in 1835, 
but held the office only a short time. He was appointed first judge 
of the county in June, 1830, and held the office until 1833 ; represented 
the county in Assembly in 1841-42, and again in 1844. He was a 


member of the Constitutional Convention of 1846, and one of the most 
useful of that body of men. He had at that time gone to reside in New 
York city, and died there (or in Brooklyn), September 27, 1848. 

David Holt was a practical printer and came into Herkimer county 
in 1805, from the city of Hudson, to begin the publication of a news- 
paper. This he was soon afterwards forced to abandon for want of 
patronage. About the year 181 1 he was editor of a paper in Herkimer 
and was postmaster at that place many years, and collector of internal 
revenue. He was appointed one of the judges of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas in February, 18 1 7, and first judge in 1821 ; he held the 
office until 1825. Adhering to the fortunes of De Witt Clinton he lost 
political preferment with the decline of that statesman, and resumed his 
trade of printing. For a brief period he published the Repitblicait 
Fanner s Free Press in Herkimer, and then removed to Little Falls and 
conducted the Mohawk Courier, while it was published by Charles S. 
Benton & Company. Thence he went to Albany where he worked at 
his trade about ten years, and removed to Wisconsin. Judge Holt en- 
joyed for years the confidence of the community and met his reverses 
with fortitude and resignation. 

Gaylord Griswold was a native of Connecticut and came westward 
with Theodore Gold, who became eminent in the legal profession of 
Oneida county. Mr. Griswold settled at Herkimer and became a con- 
spicuous politician ; was elected to the Assembly in 1797-98, and mem- 
ber of Congress in 1803-04, where he was a useful and able legislator. 
He died at Herkimer March i, 1809, at the age of forty- one. 

Simeon Ford came into Herkimer count}' previous to 1797, and 
was afterwards associated with Gaylord Griswold in law practice, in 
which he became prominent. He was appointed district attorney early 
in 1 8 19 and held the office until 1823, performing its duties with fideli- 
ty and ability. He was often a candidate for office when his chance of 
election was not good, but his frequent nominations evinced the strong 
hold he possessed upon the party. At the annual elections of 1820 and 
1821 he was chosen to the Assembly. In 1825 he was appointed by 
Governor Clinton to an office at the salt springs in Syracuse. Previous 
to this he had become pecuniarily embarrassed through the purchase of 
lands on the Hasenclever patent. After a few years he resigned his post 


in Syracuse, removed to Rochester and five years later returned to 
Herkimer and resumed his profession in 1832. Not securing a satis- 
factory chentage, he removed to Cleveland, Ohio, about 1836. There 
he met with success. He died in Cleveland in 1839. 

David W. Golden, a native of Dutchess count)', settled in Columbia 
in 1798, where he was a merchant. He was appointed judge of the 
Common Pleas in March, 18 10, and commissioned first judge in 181 i. 
He held the office until his death, in February, 1814. He was regarded 
for his honorable character and was a conscientious and discriminating 

John Frank was a son of a Palatine emigrant, Conrad Frank. He 
was appointed a justice of the peace for Montgomery county in March, 
1790, and afterwards commissioned as one of the justices of Herkimer 
county (1791) and in March, 1794, was appointed one of the judges of 
the Common Pleas; he held the office until about 1799. Judge Frank 
was an activeand zealous participant in the Revolution on the patriot side 
and was present and took part in repelling the attack of Brant and his 
warriors in July, 1778, in their attack on Andrustown. Judge Frank 
lived near the south bank of the Mohawk, in German Flats, nearly oppo- 
site the village of Herkimer, and there he closed his life. 
'■' John A. Rasbach was formerly a prominent attorney of Ilion. He 
was a great-grandson of a Palatine settler, Johannes Rasbach, who 
located about a mile east of Fort Dayton in 1726. John A. Rasbach 
was born May 9, 1805 ; worked on a farm, taught school, and was a 
merchant in Herkimer, and was postmaster and justice of the peace 
about twelve years. During this time he read law and was admitted in 
1841. In 1852 he bought a farm near Ilion and removed thither, where 
he became an active factor in the progress of that section, particularly 
in railroad operations. He died at his home in Ilion. 

Aaron Hackley, jr., was the eldest son of Aaron Hackley, sr., who 
came with his family and settled in Salisbury near the close of the last 
century. It is believed that he was a graduate of Union College and 
that he studied law in the office of Gay lord Griswold. He entered upon 
the practice of law in Herkimer in the year 1807. In person he was 
above the medium stature, erect, well formed, dark comple.xioned, with 
irregular features. In temperament and manner he was affable, as he 



was kind in feeling, with good address, and always a gentleman. He 
attached himself to the Democratic party (then known as the Republi- 
can as opposed to the Federal party). In 1814 and again in 181 5 he 
was a member of Assembly from Herkimer. In 18 12 and again in 1815 he 
was elected to the office of clerk of Herkimer county. In 18 19 to 1823 
he was representative in Congress, and afterward was appointed United 
States collector of the port of Ogdensburg, and he took up his residence 
there. Several years later he returned to his old home in Herkimer, 
and in 1828 was appointed to the office of district attorney for this 
county for the term of three years. In this, as in every other public 
office which he ever held, the duties were discharged with fidelity and 
credit to himself and satisfaction to the public. As a lawyer, Mr. Hack- 
ley was highly respectable in standing and ability, but not remarkable 
for any special or distinguishing power as an advocate or speaker. 
Later in life he went to New York and lived until his death with his son, 
who was a distinguished professor in Columbia College 

Ezra Graves was born in the town of Russia in 1803. He began the 
study of law with S & L Ford in 1832, and three years later was ad- 
mitted to practice in all the State courts. In 1845 he was appointed 
a judge of the County Court, and in 1847, after the change in the con- 
stitution, was elected by the people ; held the office about eight years 
and was again elected in 1859. In 1872 he was elected inspector of 
State prisons by the Republicans. He was a son of John Graves, one 
of the enterprising pioneers of the town of Russia. He was a faithful 
officer and highly respected for his integrity. He was father of Gen. 
John C. Graves, of Buffalo, and of Dr. George Graves and Margaret G. 
Mayton, of Herkimer. 

Hiram Nolton was educated at Fairfield Academy and spent his early 
life in that town. He studied law in the office of William D. Ford, 
and was admitted in 1814, opening an office in Little Falls. He shortly 
afterward removed to Fairfield, where he remained until 1836. He 
then returned to Little Falls and continued in the profession until his 
death, September 10, 1863. In 1825 he was appointed first judge of 
the county and held the office three years. In 1837 he was chosen 
district attorney and held that office six years. In Little Falls he was 
a partner of Arphaxed Loomis for about ten years. He was a partner 


of Jarvis N. Lake, 1847 to 1855, and a partner of George A. Hardin 
from 1855 to i860. Judge Nolton is remembered as a man who per- 
haps had not an enemy, and merited and received the respect and es- 
teem of his fellow-citizens for both his integrity and professional ability. 
He left him surviving Mrs. Helen M. Ashley, now a resident of Mont- 
clair, N. J. He died in October, 1863. 

Sandford Clark was one of the earliest lawyers in this county, but 
very little is known of his life. He was in practice in Herkimer as early 
as 1792, and it is believed that he preceded Gaylord Griswold as a law- 
yer there. He was certainly a contemporary of Griswold, and was the 
opposing attorney in the first suit in which Griswold was retained. He 
built the main building of the old Waverly Hotel in Herkimer before 
1800. It has been said that his affairs became broken up through do- 
mestic difficulties, and that he disappeared from the field. 

Oran Gray Otis was graduated at Union College, studied law in the 
office of Simeon and Lauren F"ord, and was admitted to the bar in 1819. 
He opened an office at Little Falls. He was fairly accomplished in his 
profession, was a fluent and forcible speaker, and commanded a pros- 
perous business Early in 1825 he removed to Ballston, where he 
practiced until his death in middle age. He was elected to the Assem- 
bly in 1831 and re-elected the next year. 

Dudley Burwell was born in Norway, Herkimer county, in 1801. 
(See history of Norway herein.) He attended Fairfield Academy a 
few terms, and about 1824 entered the law office of Feeter & Benton 
at Little P'alls, and soon acquired a good practice and high reputation. 
He was one of the first attorneys employed by the village of Little 
Falls. In 1834 he married a daughter of Col. Samuel Young, of Ball- 
ston ; she died within a year afterwards and he never again married. 
He was elected to the Legislature in the fall of 1832 and was prom- 
inent in that body. In 1836 he was appointed district attorney of this 
county and made an able official. Mr. Burwell was a man of large 
brain and sound judgment, with clear perception and application of le- 
gal principles and a very good lawyer. He removed to Albany and 
opened an office about 1838. In politics he was a strong Democrat, 
and for many years was influential in his party. In 1858 he returned 
to his old home in Little Falls. Here he purchased several adjacent par- 


eels of land on the hillside east of the village, built a residence at the 
foot of the hill, hired a housekeeper and became a farmer on a small 
scale, still keeping a lively interest in public affairs. In his later years 
he was regarded by many as a recluse, if not as a misanthrope. He 
was, however, really kind-hearted and charitable, of strict integrity and 
good morals. He died April i8, 1876, leaving a generous legacy of 
about forty- five acres of land lying in the eastern part of the village, to 
be known as Burwell Park, to the village of Little Falls, to become the 
property of the corporation at the death of William G. Milligan. Be- 
fore his death he caused to be excavated a tomb in the rock on the 
hillside of the land, in which he was buried. 

Abijah Mann, jr., was born at Fairfield September 24, 1793, and re- 
ceived education only in the common schools. He taught school for a 
short time in Oneida county, and was married January 18, 18 14. The 
same year he settled in Seneca Falls, where he was postmaster, mer- 
chant, and built a block of buildings. The pressure of financial affairs 
in 1815 closed his mercantile career, and in 18 19 he returned to Fair- 
field and entered the law office of Hiram Nolton. In 1822 he was a 
successful competitor of Mr. Nolton for the office of justice of the 
peace. In the fall of 1827 he was elected to the Assembly and re- 
elected the next year. He here became conspicuous as a public man 
and politician. His career in Congress — 1832 to 1836 — was marked by 
the same aggressive and rude strength in debate that he had exhibited 
in the Legislature, and secured for him a large measure of influence. 
He had the confidence of the Democrats, among whom were Martin 
Van Buren, Silas Wright, Azariah C. Flagg, Michael Hoffman and 
others. In 1836 Mr. Mann took up his residence in Frankfort and re- 
mained there until 1842, when he removed to Brooklyn and opened an 
office with his son-in-law, John H. Rodman. He had been appointed 
receiver of the Washington County and other banks, from which he re- 
ceived large fees. He subsequently left the Democratic party, and was 
nominated by its opponents for attorney general in 1855, but was de- 
feated ; he ran again on the same side for senator and was again de- 
feated. He then returned to the party of his old affections. His health 
finally failed and he was an invalid some years. He died in Buffalo, 
while on a visit, on the 8th of September, 1868, aged seventy- five years. 
He was reported to be worth more than a million dollars. 


Charles Gray was born in the town of Palatine in 1796. He was ed- 
ucated at Fairfield Academy and began his law studies with Henry 
Markell. In 18 19 he went to Herkimer and entered the office of Sim- 
eon and Lauren Ford. He was admitted to the bar in 1S22, settled in 
Herkimer, and was for the first year or two of his practice a partner of 
James McAuley. After that he practiced alone until his death in 1871. 
He was a lawyer of fair ability and was better qualified for office busi- 
ness than for trial cases before the court or jury. His business was 
chiefly conveyancing, office counsel, and other unlitigated matters. He 
was a good business man and good citizen, and for a long time was in- 
fluential and prominent in the politics of the county. In 1835 he 
represented the county in the Legislature, and in 1838 to 1841 was one 
of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas, and for several years 
held the office of master in chancery in the county. At the first elec- 
tion of judges of the Supreme Court, under the new constitution of 
1846, he was nominated by his party and was elected. He drew the 
shortest term, two years, of which one was in the Court of Appeals ; 
the reports of the latter court contain a few of his opinions. Judge 
Gray was fond of military duties and for many years he held the office 
of brigadier general, commissioned by Governor Marcy. 

Arphaxed Loomis was a native of Connecticut, where he was born 
April 9, 1798. He was a son of Thaddeus Loomis, who settled in Salis- 
bury in 1803. He was admitted to the bar in 1822 and first prac- 
ticed with Justin Butterfield, at Sackett's Harbor until 1824; in 1825 
he established himself at Little Falls; was appointed surrogate of Her- 
kimer county in 1828, and held the office about eight years; was first 
judge of Herkimer county five years, 1835-40; representative in Con- 
gress 1837-39; member of Assembly 1841-42 and 1853; member of 
the Constitutional Convention of 1846, etc. Later in life he was asso- 
ciated with his sons Watts T. and Sidney Loomis in the practice of law 
in Little Falls, and died there, September 16, 1886. Mr. Loomis occu- 
pied a foremost position at the bar of the county, and as a citizen of 
Little Falls was always conspicuous in every movement for the ad- 
vancement of the village. He early became a large real estate owner, 
which property he developed and improved. He held several village 
offices and in their administration evinced an active public spirit. Jn 


his judicial and legislative career he gained the confidence and appro- 
bation of the public for his ability and efficiency. 

Sidney Loomis, son of Arphaxed, was born in Little Falls December 
19, 1846, and died in September, 1879 He was a graduate of the Al- 
bany Law School and of Union College, and practiced with his father 
and brother until his death. He was a man of high intelligence, well 
read in his profession, and one who drew around him a large circle of 
sincere friends. 

Nathaniel S. Benton, to whom the editors and publishers of this vol- 
ume are so greatly indebted for valuable information preserved in a 
local history issued by him more than thirty years ago, was a native of 
New Hampshire, and resided in that State until he came to Little Falls, 
about 1816. He was born February 19, 1792. At the battle of Platts- 
burg, September, 1814, Mr. Benton served as a warrant officer of vol- 
unteers and received a commission in recognition of his good conduct 
on that occasion. At Little Falls he studied law in the office of George 
H. Feeter, and was admitted to practice in 18 17. He served as justice 
of the peace at Little Falls several years, by appointment of the gov- 
ernor. About 1820, or 1 82 1, he made an extended tour through the 
Western States in quest of a future home for the practice of his pro- 
fession, but failed to be suited and returned to Little Falls. After this 
he became a member of the law firm of Feeter & Benton, in which he 
continued several years, doing a respectable business. From 1821 to 
1828 he held the office of surrogate of the county, and from 1833 to 
1835 he was first judge of the county. In 1836 he was nominated by 
the Democratic party and elected State senator for a term of four years. 
Shortly before the expiration of the term he was appointed United 
States district attorney for the northern district of New York, and took 
part in the memorable McLeod trial. In 1846 he was appointed secre- 
tary of state, which office he held for two years. In 1856 he was ap- 
pointed to the office of canal auditor and held the position until 1868, 
when he retired from public life with impaired health and died June 19, 
1869, aged seventy-seven years. At the time of his death he was senior 
warden of Emanuel Episcopal church. In all the various public stations 
held by him the duties were discharged with fidelity and with satisfaction 
to the public. These duties were so continuous that he was allowed 


little time to devote to his profession. Indeed, he was better adapted 
to discharge the duties which devolved upon him in his executive and 
official life than for the successful practice of law. He was not gifted 
with the qualities of a public speaker or of a popular advocate at the 
bar. While he was secretary of state he availed himself of the public 
records on file in the office to collect some of the materials for his his- 
tory of Herkimer county, which he published in 1856 His work is 
still very valuable for reference. Mr. Benton was a man of fine personal 
appearance, a good citizen and well esteemed wherever known. His 
wife was a daughter of Eben Rritton, an early settler of Little Falls. 

George H. Feeter was born in Herkimer county. His father was 
Col. William Feeter of revolutionary memory. He was educated at 
Fairfield Academy, studied law with Simeon Ford at Herkimer and 
settled in Little Falls for the practice of his profession in the year 181 i, 
continuing in business there for over forty years and until his death, 
February 18, 1852. He had several successive law partners, among 
whom was Nathaniel S. Benton. Mr. Feeter was fairly versed in the 
law, and active in temperament, better adapted to the trial of issues 
before a jury, then to law issues before the court. He held the office 
of district attorney from 1825 to 1828 and discharged its duties in a 
creditable manner. Mr. Feeter was the local land agent for Mr. Ellice, 
the chief proprietor of large tracts of lands in and about Little Falls, 
and also acted for John Delancy, another non-resident proprietor of 
lands in this county. These agencies gave him business and influence, 
but were not a means of personal popularity. He was of social dispo- 
sition and hospitable in his home. In his early days he exercised a 
large influence in the municipal affairs of the village. Later, when the 
laying out and improvement of streets at the expense of owners of lots 
fronting on them became a part of the village policy, which had the 
effect, if it was not the design, to induce the non resident owners to 
sell out, his agency interests became hostile to those of the village 
authorities. When Mr. Feeter first settled in the practice of law at 
Little Falls the village was small. He grew up with the village, and 
his house with its hospitable associations, was a marked object of at- 
tention by both citizens and visitors of the place. 

Lauren Ford was a nephew of Simeon Ford and several years his 
junior. He was a graduate of Union College, studied law in the office 


of his uncle at Herkimer and upon his admission to the bar in 1812, 
became his law partner, under the name of S. & L. Ford. This firm 
for quite a number of years stood foremost in the profession in this 
county. Lauren Ford was a man of good address and manner, cheerful 
and agreeable in conversation and social intercourse. He was well 
grounded in the principles of the common law and the law pertaining to 
real estate, and ready in their application. He was a fluent and ready 
speaker with but little action, emotional in temperament to a degree that 
he was not unfrequently moved to tears in addressing ajury. No man 
in the county was better known or more popular, and he was himself 
remarkable for his knowledge of the individual men of the county and 
of their family descent and affinities, and also for his acquaintance with 
the land titles and the patents under which they were held. He moved 
to Little Falls about 1840 and continued there in practice with fair suc- 
cess for many years. He was the candidate of his party at different 
times for State senator and representative in Congress, but was defeated 
for the reason that his political party (the Federal and later the Whig) 
was in the minority in the district. At a later period (1857) when his 
party gained the ascendency he was elected district attorney, which 
office he held to 1858, when he resigned, and George A. Hardin was 
appointed by Governor King to fill the vacancy, Mr. Ford removing 
to Brooklyn, where he died. Mr Ford held the office of surrogate by 
appointment from 1841 to 1845. He was moderate in his charges for 
professional services and made no attempt to make money by invest- 
ments for prospective rise in value. 

William D. Ford was born in Herkimer county or came here early. 
He was educated at Fairfield Academy, studied law at Herkimer with 
Gaylord Griswold and Simeon Ford, and came to the bar in 1809. He 
established himself at Fairfield in the practice of his profession, where 
he remained until he removed to Watertown nine or ten years later. 
He was fairly well read as a lawyer and of good mental ability, but 
was not distinguished as an advocate before either court or jury, although 
equable and respectable. In politics he was a Democrat and was the 
recipient of a fair share of political honors from his party. He was a 
member of Assembly in the years 1816-17-18 from Herkimer county, 
during the last of which years he moved to Jefferson county and was in 


the next year elected to Congress. At Watertovvn he became law 
partner of David W. Bucklin and the firm carried on a successful prac- 
tice for some years, until Mr. Ford's death. 

Elisha Powell Hurlbut was born in the town of Salisbury October 
!5, 1807. He was admitted to practice June 3, 1828, and had an 
office at Little Falls on the site where the chambers of Judge Hardin 
are now located. He removed to the city of New York in the year 
1835 and practiced until 1847 when he was elected a judge of the Su- 
preme Court. In 1850 he was ex officio]\idge. of the Court of Appeals, 
and several of his opinions delivered in that court appear in Vols. 3 and 
4 of the New York Reports (3 and 4 Comstock), and tiiey were written 
in a clear, terse style. He resigned the office by reason of impaired 
health and took up his residence in the town of Newport. In i860 he 
removed to Bethlehem near Albany where he resided until his death, 
which occurred August, 1890. He was a descendant of Thomas Hurl- 
but who came from Scotland in 1635 and settled in the town of Weth- 
ersfield, Connecticut. Gansevoort Hurlbut, a son of Judge Hurlbut, is 
practicing law in Albany, and Catharine M. Ingham, the wife of Schuy- 
ler R. Ingham, is a niece of Judge Hurlbut, residing at Little Falls. He 
was an able lawyer and a useful judge. In 1856 he delivered several 
addresses in Little Falls with great clearness in his style and energy in 
his delivery, at times becoming sarcastic and eloquent. 

Alexander Hamilton Waterman was born in the town of Newport, 
November 6, 1825. After completing his legal studies and being ad- 
mitted to the bar, he opened an office in Little Falls where he continued 
practice until his death, which occurred October 8, 1856. He was 
married to Janette Ingham, the daughter of the late William Ingham, 
and left him surviving his son, George D. Waterman, secretary of the 
Henry Cheney Hammer Company and his daughter, Mrs. Irving E. 
Waters, now of Bufifalo. He was studious and energetic in his profes- 
sion, and in 1855 was the attorney for the plaintifif in the memorable 
slander case of Snell vs. Snell, tried at the Herkimer Circuit, Hon. Ros- 
coe Conkling being associated with him as counsel. In this case a 
recovery was obtained of $ 1, 000. The writer of this paragraph fre- 
quently measured swords with him in legal contests, and thereby learned 
to appreciate his ability, skill and great promise of a brilliant career, 
which was cut off" by sickness and death. 


E. S. Capron was a native of Onondaga county, N. Y., and became 
prominent in the bar of Herkimer county. From the year 1832 to 1847 
he was a partner of Jarvis N. Lake, and the firm was among the fore- 
most legal practitioners of Little Falls. After the dissolution of this 
firm he was associated with Henry Link. In 1854 he made a trip to 
California where he gathered materials for a historical work on that 
State. Returning east he located and practiced in New York city and 
was subsequently appointed county judge by Gov. Myron H. Clark. 
At the expiration of the term he resumed practice and died about 1883 
at the home of his son-in-law, Spencer S Coe, in Stamford, Conn. 

Jarvis N. Lake was a somewhat conspicuous attorney of Little Falls, 
and an active public-spirited citizen; he came here from Ames, Mont- 
gomery county. He was a partner with E. S. Capon from 1834 to 
1847, 3-nd later a partner with his uncle, Delos Lake, until the latter re- 
moved to California. He then associated himself with Judge Hiram 
Nolton until 1854, when he removed to New York. Mr. Lake was 
prominent in politics as a Whig and held the position of clerk of the 
Assembly in 1838; was trustee of the village and president in 1854. 
Delos Lake, uncle of Jarvis N , practiced a few years in Little Falls, and 
removed to California in 1848, where he was elected judge. He died 
in that State. 

Clinton A. Moon was born in Russia in 1827. Educated first at 
Fairfield, he graduated front Union College in 1853. For two years he 
was in the faculty of Fairfield Seminary and then studied law with John 
H. Wooster at Newport and was admitted in 1857. In i860 he re- 
moved to Herkimer and in the following year was elected district attor- 
ney. In 1864 he removed to Ilion and formed a partnership with 
Thomas Richardson. In 1866 he returned to Russia and mingled legal 
business with farming until 1875. In 1876 he removed to Newport and 
practiced there until his death. He was supervisor of the town of 
Russia in 1870-72. He was a worthy member of the profession and 
is remembered as a man of high principles and integrity. 

Charles A. Burton was born in the town of Newport, his father being 
Darius Burton. He acquired more than an ordinary academic educa- 
tion and pursued the profession of civil engineer, joining a corps 
engaged in the construction of the Illinois Central Railroad. After 


completing his duties there he returned to the county, read law 
with Judge Graves of Herkimer and was admitted to practice on the 
1 6th day of February, 1845. He had a bright, analytic mind and 
became very proficient in the knowledge of principles and case law ; ob- 
tained a good practice; was frequently chosen as a referee. He mar- 
ried a daughter of the late Col. Standish Barry. He was of a cheerful, 
companionable, social disposition, readily making and retaining friends. 
He continued to practice and reside at Herkimer until the time of his 
death, which occurred about the year 1858, while in the North Woods 
upon a fishing excursion. 

Volney Owen practiced his profession at the village of Mohawk for 
many years, and in the memorable contest between the late Amos H. 
Prescott and John H. Wooster for the Republican nomination for the 
office of county judge and surrogate he had three delegates from the 
town of Herkimer. After it was demonstrated that neither of the 
prominent candidates had votes enough to nominate, the Wooster dele- 
gates joined the three delegates of Herkimer and nominated Mr. 
Owen. He was elected and served for the term of four years as surro- 
gate and county judge, his term commencing in 1863. Subsequently 
he removed to one of the Western States where he died. 

James B. Hunt was a practicing lawyer in this county from 1824 to 
1836, and resided in the village of Herkimer. He was a son of Dr. 
Joseph Hunt and born in the West Indies. He came to Fairfield to 
finish his education, and after leaving the academy entered the office of 
Simeon and Lauren Ford, in due time was admitted to the bar and at 
once formed a copartnership with Michael HoiTman. Mr. Hunt was 
an active and industrious lawyer, was well versed in the law and was a 
respectable advocate, leaving a favorable impression as to his ability. 
He was in every sense a pure and upright man, just in his intercourse 
with his fellow citizens, generous, genial and friendly. He filled with 
credit the office of district attorney for this county from 1833 to 1836. 
He subsequently became enfeebled in health and, in hope of improving 
it, removed to Michigan and settled in Pontiac, where he enjoyed for 
some time a good practice. In a few years after his location in Michi- 
gan he was elected to Congress and served one term. He did not 
afterwards return to active practice, but held several offices, among 



them that of land agent for the government at Lake Superior. His 
last days were spent in Washington in some subordinate position in a 
government department. He was an active Democrat in politics. He 
died in Washington about i860. 

Henry Link was born in the^town of Danube in tlie'year 181 1. He 
was educated in the common schools and jthe Canajoharie Academy 
and read law in the office of Judge Lacia. After two years of practice 
in Fort Plain he removed to Little Falls in 1840. In 1848 he formed 
a copartnership with the late Judge Capron which continued until 1854, 
and at a later date he was a partner with Judge R. H. Smith Hon. P 
H. McEvoy, and others. He was twice elected president of the village 
of Little Falls, and in 1871 ran on the Democratic ticket for county judc^e 
but was defeated by Judge Amos H. Prescott. He was familiar with the 
German language which fact drew to him many German clients. He 
was a fair and honorable practitioner and enjoyed the confidence of the 
profession and the public. He died at his residence in Little Falls July, 
1 89 1, at the age of eighty years, having remained in practice up to 
a few weeks of his death. 

James Hart was born in Johnstown, Fulton county November 7, 1 824. 
He completed his education at Fairfield Academy and taught school in 
the towns of Salisbury and Little Falls. In 1851 he commenced the 
study of the law in the office of Loomis & Griswold, and in 1854 was 
admitted. He was deputy collector of internal revenue under J. R. 
Stebbins, United States collector. He held several minor offices, and 
was a trusted and worthy citizen. He died suddenly on the 4th of 
March, 1888, at his residence, leaving his sons, James B. Hart and Ed- 
ward S. Hart, and his daughter, Nellie Hart, him surviving. 

Hamilton Ward was born in the town of Salisbury on the 3d day of 
July, 1829. He was a son of Peter Hamilton Ward and his mother's 
maiden name was Eliza Cleveland, a daughter of Daniel Cleveland, a 
wagon maker in Salisbury. When the subject of this notice was four 
years old his parents removed to Green Springs on the James River in 
Virginia, and when he was eight years old they removed to Chemung 
county in this State, where he worked on his father's farm, attending dis- 
trict school. He was admitted to the bar at Cooperstown in July, 185 i, 
and in August of that year he removed to Belmont, Allegany county, 


where he still resides. He was elected district attorney of Allegany 
county in 1856; re-elected in 1862 and in 1864 he was elected to Con- 
gress, and again in 1866 and in 1868. In 1879 he was elected attorney- 
general of the State; and in May, 1891, Governor Hill appointed him 
judge of the Supreme Court to fill a vacancy caused by the death of 
Thomas Corlett. In the fall of that year he was elected by the people and 
is now discharging the duties of that office ; being one of the three justices 
of the Supreme Court now in service who were born in the county of 
Herkimer; to wit: Judge Ward, born in Salisbury; Judge Celora E. 
Martin, born in Newport, and Judge George A. Hardin, born in the town 
of Winfield. 

Thomas Dasey was a native of Ireland, where he was born in 1851, and 
brought to America in the following year. He worked while young in. 
the factories, and later attended the academy where he acquired a good 
education. In 1874 he entered the office of Link & McEvoy and was 
admitted to the bar in 1878. After about four years of practice he was 
elected in 1882 police justice and re-elected in 1886. He was an active 
Democrat in politics and exerted considerable influence in the party. 
Genial and warm-hearted, and a good debater and effective speaker, he 
made himself popular with the commimity. In his administration of the 
office of justice he left an excellent record for his ability to deal effect- 
ively with the criminal classes. He died February 9, 1 888. 

George F. Crumby was born in the town of Newport in September, 
1855. He was graduated from Hamilton College in 1879, and from the 
law department of the same institution a few years later. He com- 
menced practice in New York city where, however, he remained only 
about a year. Removing to Little P"alls in 1881, he formed a copart- 
nership with Hon. R. H. Smith. In 1882 he became associated with 
Hadley W. Jones under the firm name of Crumby & Jones, and this 
partnership continued until his death, which occurred July 25, 1887. 
Mr. Crumby was elected school commissioner of the first district of this 
county in 1881 and in 1887 he was chosen president of the village of 
Little Falls. 

John I. Prendergast, long a resident of the town of Winfield, died 
March 24, 1869, in Brooklyn where he then lived. He was State.sena- 
tor in 1814, member of the Council of Appointment in 1827, and for 




four years was judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Herkimer county. 
He was greatly respected and esteemed for his high attainments, integ- 
rity, and uprightness. 

Sewell S. Morgan, of the town of Winfield, was early a leading lawyer 
in the county. He married Julia A. Fairchild, of West Winfield, daugh- 
ter of Anson P. Fairchild. one of the first settlers of that town. He was 
elected district attorney in 1864. 

Sketches of Samuel Earl, Robert Earl, Geo. A. Hardin, A. M. Mill, 
W. F. Lansing, Amos H. Prescott, A. B. Steele, C. W. Prescott, James 
B. Rafter, Ezra Graves and others will be found in the biographical de- 
partment of this volume. 

Following is a list of the present members of the bar of Herkimer 

Dolgeville, Edward A. Brown ; Danube, A. C. Dingman ; Frankfort, 
Jos. J. Dudleston, jr., Frank B. Parkhurst, E. Lagrange Smith, Harry 
G. Folts; Herkimer, Robert Earl, George W. Smith, Josiah A. Steele, 
Abram B Steele, J. Dryden Henderson, William C. Prescott, E. B. Mitch- 
ell, I. R. Devendorf, Adam J. Smith, Charles Bell, William Wither- 
stine, Charles E. Snyder, George H. Bunce, Robert E. Steele; Ilion, 
Thomas Richardson, George O. Rasbach, James Conklin, Fred H. Ben- 
nett, A. D. Richardson, Lincoln C. Ackler ; Little Falls, George A. 
Hardin, H. Clay Hall, Albert M. Mills, Charles J. Palmer, Rollin H. 
Smith, Watts T. Loomis, E. E. Sheldon, Edward Simms, Edward J. 
Coffin, P. H. McEvoy, Fred I. Small, William F. Lansing, D. A. Cham- 
pion, Myron G. Bronner, John D. Beck with, Charles L. Petree, Frank 
H. Willard, J. W. Fitzgerald, Hadley Jones, A. H. Bellinger, H. A. 
De Coster, P. H. Murphy, Richard Hurley,.Nelson R. Gilbert; Mohawk, 
James B. Rafter ; Newport, George M. Wirt, Charles L. Fellows ; Cul- 
len, J. Howard Green ; Poland, Milton Howe ; West Winfield, C. D. 

First Judges of the Court of Common Pleas (appointed by the governor) — Henry y 
Staring, February 17, 1791; Jedediah Sanger, March 8, 1797; John Meyer, October 
80, 1800; Evans Wharry. March 18, 1805; DfroTV: W. Golding, March 27, 1810; 
Nathan Smith, April 7, 1814; David Holt, January 10, 1821; Henry Brown, Feb- 
3, 1823; Hiram Nolton, March 23, 1825; Michael Hoffman, March 21, 1830; Na- 
thaniel S. Benton, Aprils, 1833; Arphaxed Loomis, March 23, 1835; Arunah C. H. 
Smith, January 24, 1840 ; Ezra Graves, January 24, 1845. 


County Judges. — Ezra Graves, June, 1847, and November, 1859 ; Robert Earl, 1855 ; 
Volney Owen, 1863 ; Amos H. Prescott, 1867; Amos H. Prescott, 1878-1883; Rollin 
H. Smitli, 1884-1889 : Eugene E. Sheldon, 1890. 

Surrogates (appointed by the governor under the Second Constitution). — Moses De 
Witt, February 17, 1791; Sanford Clark, March 19, 1798; Dan Chapman, March 23, 
1803; Philo M. Hackley, March 28, 1807 ; Abijah Tombliog, November 6, 1816; Na- 
thaniel S. Benton, March 29, 1821 ; Arphaxed Loomis, January 10, 1828; Charles S. 
Benton, July 10, 1837; Lauren Ford, April 2, 1841; Ezra Graves, April 2, 184:"). 
Under the present constitution of the State the office of surrogate in Herkimer, and a 
number of other counties which had each less than 40,000 population when the consti- 
tution was adopted, has been consolidated with that of county judge. 

Justices of Sessions — 1878, Orrin A. Ford, John F. Rogers; 1879, C. P. Miller, Har- 
vey R. Kibbe ; 1880, J. E. S. Wilkmson, William Helmer ; 1881-1882, Elon G. Bur- 
■ rows, Henry Sherman; 1883, C. P. Miller, Frank Faville ; 1884, Frank L. Brace, 
Thomas C. Murray; 1885, Elon G. Burrows, James Sharp; 1880, E. H. Doolittle, 
Alexander Fox; 1887, B. H. Doolittle, I. E. Jackson; 1888, V. S. Farrington, I. E. 
Jackson ; 1889, V. S. Farrington, William S. Burt ; 1890, Levi Sliaul, E. T. Lester ; 
1891, C. W. Prescott, Munson Bunnell,'; 1892, C. W. Prescott, Albert S. Coe. 

District Attorneys — Under the Second Constitution, which was adopted in 1822 and 
in force until the end of 1840, district attorneys were appointed by the Court of Gen- 
eral Sessions ; for the last forty-seven years they have been chosen by popular vote at 
the November elections. The list for Herkimer county is as follows : Thomas R. Gold, 
February 26, 1797; Nathan Williams, August 20, 1801; Joseph Kirkland, February 
23, 1813; Thomas H. Hubbard, February 26, 1816; Simeon Ford, June 11, 1818, and 
September, 1836; Michael Hoffman, May, 1823, and March, 1836; George H. Feeter, 
1825; Aaron Hackley, 1828; James B. Hunt, 1833; Dudley Burwell, 1836; Hiram 
Nolton, 1837; George B. Judd, 1847; Volney Owen, 1850; Lauren Ford, 1856 ; 
George A. Hardin, January 28, 1858, and elected in the following November ; Clinton 
A. Moon, 1861; Sewel S. Morgan, 1864; Charles G. Burrows, 1867; Albert M. Mills, 
1870; .Joseph J. Dudle.ston, jr., 1876; Abram B. Steele, 1880; Eugene E. Sheldon, 
1886; Irving R. Devendorf, 1889. 

SAen/s.— William Colbraith, February 17, 1791, and February 9, 1796; Peter 
Smith, February 18, 1795; Chauncey Woodruff, March 19, 1798; William 
H. Cook, March 17, 1802, and March 5, 1807; Ephraim Snow, March 6, 1806; John 
Mahon, February 22, 1808, March 4, 1811, and March 2, 1815; Philo M. Hackley, 
February 28, 1810; Henry Hopkins, February 23, 1813; Robert Shoemaker, February 
13, 1817; Stephen Hallett, February 13, 1821, '"and November, 1822; John Dypert, 
1825; John Graves, 1828; Frederick P.Bellinger, 1831; Francis E. Spinner, 1834; 
Stephen W. Brown, 1837; William C. Grain, 1840 ; Jeremiah Corey, 1843; William I. 
Skinner, 1846; Daniel Hawn, 1849; Lorenzo Carryl, 1852; Peter Countryman, 1855; 
James J. Cook, 1857 ; Seth M. Richmond, 1861 ; George M. Cleland, 1864; James H. 
Weatherwax, 1867; Alexander Smith, 1870; Volney Eaton, 1873; James H. Ives, 
1876; De Witt C. Paine, 1880; Valentine Brown, 1883; Delevan L. CooV, 1886; 
Newell Morey, 1889 ; Sylvester Wilson, 1892. 



THIS venerable society was organized on the 5th day of August^ 
1806, at a general meeting of the physicians of the county, held 
at the court house, pursuant to an act of the Legislature of the State, 
regulating the practice of physic and surgery, passed April 4, 1806. 

Dr. George Rogers was chosen chairman, and Dr. Westel Willough- 
by, jr., secretary, for the day. On canvassing the votes for officers of 
the society, Dr. Westel Willoughby, jr., was elected president ; 
George Rogers, vice-president ; Andrew Farreil, secretary ; and Amos 
Haile, treasurer. 

Drs. Amos Haile, Andrew Farreil, Jonathan Sherwood, Rufus Grain 
and Isaac Sears, were chosen censors. 

The names of the physicians present at this meeting were : Westel 
Willoughby, jr., George Rogers, Andrew Farreil, Amos Haile, Abijah 
Tombling, David Perry, Jonathan Sherwood, John Eastman and 
Samuel Redfield. 

The first Tuesday in January in each year was assigned as the anni- 
versary of the society. At the annual meeting, held at the court- 
house in January, 1807, the society resolved, that to entitle a physician 
to become a member of tlie society, he must either produce a diploma 
from some medical society in the United States, agreeable to the law 
of this State, or a voucher that he is a reputable physician. 

Westel Willoughby, jr., M. D., was appointed a delegate from the 
society to meet the delegates from the other counties in the State, on 
the first Tuesday in February, 1807, to form a State medical society. 

Drs. Benjamin Hazen, Nathan Harwood, James Hadley, Isaac Sears, 
Jacob Abrams and William Traver were admitted members of the 
society. A committee was appointed to form a code of by-laws, who 
reported the same at an adjourned meeting, on the 5th of May fol- 
lowing, which was adopted, and ordered to be printed. Dr. Wil- 
loughby was requested to deliver a dissertation before the society, at 


the adjourned meeting in May, 1807. In 1808, at the quarterly meet- 
ing in May, a seal was ordered to be procured for the use of the incor- 
poration ; and at the anniversary meeting in January, 1809, the meet- 
ings of the society were reduced from four to two annually, and a fine 
of one dollar imposed for non-attendance. 

Dr. Willoughby was continued president of the society, until January, 
18 16, when Rufus Grain was elected, who held one year, and was 
succeeded by James Hadley, who also held the office one year, and 
was succeeded by Westel Willoughby, M. D., in 18 18. This year the 
society passed an order, that the county censors of any incorporated 
medical society should not proceed to examine a student for a license 
to practice physic and surgery, unless he produce a certificate of having 
attended at least one session at one of the medical colleges in the 
United States or in Europe, after the first day of January, 18 18. 

Dr. Willoughby held the office of president of the society until 
January, 1837, when he delivered a farewell address, for which, and for 
his constant and unwearied exertions for the interest and welfare of the 
society, a vote of thanks was tendered to him. The society, also, by 
resolution, requested a copy of the address, and also a copy of a com- 
munication that day made by him, to be deposited in the archives of 
the society. In 18 18, a vote was taken to apply the funds of the society 
to increase the library of the medical college at Fairfield, on condition 
that its members could have the benefit of the library during the recess of 
the lectures at the college. In January, 18 19, a resolution was passed, 
that every medical practitioner in the county who was not then a mem- 
ber, be notified by the secretary to attend at the next regular meet- 
ing of the society, and connect himself therewith, pursuant to the act 
passed in 181 8. 

In January, 1823, an order was passed to apply the funds of the so- 
ciety, in the hands of the treasurer, to the benefit of the college library, 
in accordance with a previous resolution. The funds afterwards re- 
ceived were also appropriated to the same object. In 1825 the society 
asked the trustees of the college to pass a resolution, that all the books 
purchased by its funds should be delivered to the society, when the 
college should be located in some other place than Fairfield. In 1828 
the society adopted resolutions of condolence with the families of Drs. 


Bryan, Willard and Todd, who died the preceding year, and requested 
biographical sketclies of their lives to be deposited in the archives of 
the society. The society had not met with a more severe loss in one 
year. These gentlemen were of high professional repute, and of great 
personal worth. The society in 1830 had its attention called to the 
evils of intemperance, and resolved unanimously to discountenance the 
use of ardent spirits ; and the annual meetings were changed to the first 
Tuesday in June, in each year. 

In 183 I measures were taken to procure a medical topographical sur- 
vey of the county, in accordance with a circular from the State Medical 
Society. There is no record that the several committees, appointed 
under the resolution, to procure the survey, ever made any reports. 
Dr. Calvin W. Smith was design^ated as the candidate to the State 
Medical Society, for the honorary degree of doctor of medicine. 

The society this year, 1832, took measures to petition the Legislature, 
to restore that part of the revised statutes, regulating the practice of 
physic and surgery, repealed by the act of 1830; and appointed a com- 
mittee to circulate memorials for that object. 

In 1837 the society adopted a regulation requiring the physician em- 
ployed at the county poor house to make an annual report of his cases 
of practice ; that the library committee should make an investigation 
into the state of the society's library, count the number of books on 
hand, and compare the treasurer's reports, and the augmentation of the 
library for the preceding five years. Also, that each member of the 
society be requested to keep a record of all the deaths which might oc- 
cur in his practice, the age of the patients, the diseases of which they 
died, and how far said deaths were caused by intemperate habits of life, 
and report thereon to the society. 

Dr. Harvey W. Doolittle was chosen president of the society in June, 

1837, was succeeded by Dr. Calvin W. Smith for one year in June, 

1838, and was again chosen in 1839, and held the office by annual elec- 
tion until June, 1842. 

In January, 1839, the society adopted the following : 
" Whereas, by the dispensation of Divine Providence, since our last 
meeting, this society has been deprived of one of its most valuable 
members, and the community of one of its brightest ornaments, in the 
death of Dr. John Holmes : 


Resolved, That the members of this society shall wear the usual badge 
of mourning for thirty days, as a testimony of their high respect for 
their deceased friend ; and that the secretary be a committee to present 
the condolence of this society to the relations of the deceased." 

At the semi-annual meeting in January, 1 840, the society adopted a 
like resolution on the announcement of the death of Dr. Calvin VV. 
Smith, and appointed a committee to write a biographical sketch of the 
lives of Drs. Smith and Holmes. 

The professors of the Medical College at Fairfield, having resigned, 
and the trustees of that institution having failed to procure the appoint- 
ment of others to continue the lectures, the society, in 1843, took eft'ect- 
ual measures to reclaim, secure and preserve the society library, which 
had been deposited in the college under the care of the trustees and 
professors of that institution, as before noticed. 

In June, 1842, Dr. Lester Green was elected president of the society, 
and a resolution was adopted pledging the influence of the members to 
forward any feasible plan for resuscitating the Medical College at Fair- 
field, and tendering the use of the society's library to the trustees of the 
college when the professorships should be filled and the lectures re- 

At the annual meeting in 1843, ^^- Green was re-elected president. 
The whole number of volumes on the catalogue of the society's library 
was 590, of which 475 were brought from Fairfield, fifty- four were 
charged to members and sixty-three were lost or missing. The society 
adopted a set of by-laws, regulating the safe keeping and the use of the 
library. Dr. Alfred E. Varney was chosen [)resident at the annual 
meeting in 1844, and the delegate to the State society was requested to 
lay before that body the opinion entertained by this society, " that it 
is the duty of the medical faculty generally, to memorialize the Legis- 
lature of this State to procure the passage of a law to prohibit the sale 
or use of any secret compound as a medicine," and to ask the State so- 
ciety to adopt measures to lay this subject before the Legislature at the 
next session. These proceedings were rescinded at a subsequent meet- 
ing. Some doubts having been entertained, growing out of the legislation 
of the State in respect to medical societies, in regard to the legal exist- 
ence of the society, a resolution was adopted in January, 1845, to con- 


tinue the association as an organized body, and the unanimous opinion 
of the society to that effect was declared. 

Dr. Abram Snyder was chosen president in June, 1845. -^ resolu- 
tion was passed to appoint a committee to present the condolence of the 
society to the family of Dr. Westel Willoughby, deceased, and request 
a biography of his life, and also that the society should wear the usual 
badge of mourning. 

At the annual meeting in 1846, Dr. Caleb Budlong was elected pres- 
ident ; Dr. Walter Booth in 1848, and Dr. Abram Snyder, again in 1849. 
Drs. J. R. Brown, Wheeler, Griffith and Snyder were elected delegates to 
the National Medical Association. Drs. Brown and Wheeler were ap- 
pointed a committee to prepare and present to the society a biographical 
sketch of the life of Dr. Lester Green. The transactions of the society 
at its annual meeting in June, 1 847, do not appear to have been recorded, 
nor is the death of Dr. Lester Green noticed except as above mentioned. 

Dr. Harvey W. Doolittle was elected president of the society in 1850 
and 185 I. Drs. Booth, Brown, A. F. Doolittle and D. Belknap were 
appointed delegates to the National Medical Association in 1850. In 
June, 1852, Dr. A. Green was chosen president, and Drs. A. F. Doo- 
little, C. A. Griffith, A. Hawn, and W. Booth were appointed delegates 
to the National Medical Association. 

The society, at its annual meeting in June, 1853, elected Dr. Walter 
Booth president, and appointed Drs. Budlong, Griffith, Hawn and 
Parkhurst delegates to the National Medical Association. 

The proceedings of the semi-annual meeting of the society in Janu- 
ary, 1852, are deeply, nay more, solemnly interesting. Dr. C. A. 
Griffith presented the following resolutions, which were unanimously 
adopted : 

Whereas, It has pleased the allwise disposer of events to remove from this life our 
late friend and brother, Harvey W. Doolittle, one of tlie oldest, most eminent and 
highly respected physicians of this county, and vf ho Vf as for many years president of 
this society ; Be it therefore, 

Resolved, That we deeply deplore the loss sustained by his bereaved family, by the 
medical society, of which he was long an active member, and by the public al large, in 
the death of that excellent man and physician. Dr. Earvey W. Doolittle, whose profes- 
sional attainments, not less than his own personal qualities, contributed to render him 
a most useful and estimable member of the community : 


Tliat we know and cherish his qualities as a man and a citizen ; that we admire his 
sound judgment, his scientific knowledge and philanthropic spirit, which gave him a 
desirable eminence in his profession : 

That we love and lament him as a friend, and we doubt not his translation to a 
higher and happier sphere, where the pains and cares of this transient life give place to 
unbroken rest and unspeakable felicity. 

Following is a list of the successive presidents of the Medical Society 
from its organization to the present time : 

Westel Willoughby, Jr., 1806 to 1814, inclusive; Rufus Grain, 1816; James Hadley, 
1817; W. Willoughby, 1818 to 1836, inclusive; H. W. Doolittle, 1837; Calvin W. 
Smith, 1838; H. W. Doolittle, 1839-40-41; Lester Green, 1842-43; Alfred B. Var- 
ney, 1844; Abram Snyder, 1845; Caleb Budlong, 1846; W. Booth, 1847; Abram 
Snyder, 1849; H. W. DooUttle, 1860-51; Abel Green, 1852; Walter Booth, 1853; W. 
11. Parkhurst, 1854; Abram Hawn, 1855; Griffin Sweet, 1856; A. F. Doolittle, 1857; 

F. B. Etheredge, 1858-59; Hemstreet, 1800-61; (records mi.ssing to 1871); 

A. G. Barney, 1871; James M. Rose, 1872; Griffin Sweet, 1873; Benjamin E. Bush- 
nell, 1874 ; George Graves, 1875; H. A. France, 1876; Stephen Ingham, 1877; 
Charles W. Hamlin, 1878; James B.Casey, 1879; A.James Browne, 1880; Charles 
J. Hall, 1881 ; John P. Sharer, 1882 ; James F. Huntley, 1883 ; W. W. Budlong, 1884 ; 
D.N.Walker, 1885; E. N. Draper, 1886; Eli Fo.x, 1887; P. A. Skiff, 1888; M. A. 
Southworth, 1889; W. D. Garlock, 1890: I. S. Edsall, 1891; K. A. Bushnell, 1892. 

The following have been secretaries of the society : 

Andrew Farwell, 1806 to 1809, inclusive; Jacob Abrams, 1810; W. H. Doolittle, 
1811 to 1814, inclusive; Jacob L.Sherwood, 1816 to 1818, inclusive; M.L.Bryan, 
1819 to 1822, inclusive; H. W. Doolittle, 1823; M. L. Bryan, 1824-25; Muses John- 
son, 1826 to 1836, inclusive; A. F. Doolittle, 1838 to 1840, inclusive; F. B Etheredge, 
1841; C. L. Easton, 1842-43; Griffin Sweet, 1844-45; C. A. Griffeth, 1846 to 1851, 
inclusive; Adam Miller, 1852-53; S. R. Millington, 1854;' C. A. Griffeth, 1855 ; J. E. 
Casey, 1856; J. B. Casey, 1857; C. A. Griffeth, 1858; H. H.Green, 1860-61; C. W. 
Hamlin, 1871 ; A. Walter Suiter, 1872 to 1892, inclusive. 

Of the proceedings and character of the Herkimer County Medical 
Society in the later years of its existence it may be said that it 
has always been found in the front rank on all matters of State and 
National polity as connected with the practice of medicine. At a 
meeting held in 1882, a very animated discussion was held on questions 
of ethics, and a resolution was passed declaring the allegiance of the 
society to the Code of 1847, and against the one that had been adopted 
by the State Society in 1881. Many able papers have been prepared 
and read before the society during its existence, showing that the ability 
of its membership as a whole has been of a high order. 


On account of its value for reference by present and future members 
of the profession, we give tlie following list of all physicians who have 
registered in the clerk's office of this county since I 880, under the law 
governing that matter : 

Vaugn C. Potter, Van Hornesville, born in Salisbury, Herkimer county ; Geneva 
College of Physic and Surgery, January 24, 18G0. Registered July, 1880. 

Augustus Walter Suiter, born in Herkimer; College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
Columbia College, March, 1871. Registered July, 1880. 

Lyman C. Dexter, born in Newport, Herkimer county, residence Newport ; Uni- 
versity of Michigan, June 26, 1879. Registered July, 1880. 

Delevan N. Walker, residence at Ilion, Herkimer county, born in Root, Montgomery 
county ; Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. March 9, 1858. Registered July 16, 

Robert W. Warnei, born at Baltimore, Md., residence Ilion'; Albany Medical Col- 
lege, March 5, 1880. Registered July 21, 1880. 

Frederick F. Comstock, born in Western, Oneida county, residence Ilion ; Bellevue 
Hospital Medical College, February 27, 1873. Registered July 22, 1880. 

Robert J. La Fonzo, born at Galveston, Texas, re.sidence Brooklyn; Indiana Central 
Medical College and Asbury University, March 1, 1867. Registered July 24, 1880. 

Abram Guiwits, born in Stark, Herkimer county, residence Salisbury Centre; Cas- 
tleton Medical College, Vt., 18.^,0. Registered July 26, 1880. 

Alfred A. Moors, born in Plainfield, Otsego county, residence West Winfield. Her- 
kimer county, Memphis Medical College, Tenn., March 1, 1854. Registered July 2G, 

James I. Rasback, born at Ilion, residence Ilion ; Bellevue Hospital Medical College, 
February 26, 1876. Registered July 6, 1880. 

C. J. Hall, born in Queens county, residence Norway, Herkimer county ; University 
of Michigan, Ann Arbor, March 31, 1870. Registered July 27, 1880. 

H. B. Mabin, born in Halcott, Greene county, N. Y., residence Ilion; Albany 
Medical College, December 22, 1867. Registered July 27, 1880. 

Adam Miller, born in Columbia, Herkimer county, residence Jordanville; Geneva 
Medical College, January, 1844. Registered August 7, 1880. 

W. W. Budlong, born at Frankfort. Herkimer county, residence Frankfort; Buffalo 
Medical College, June 3, 1848. Registered August 10, 1880. 

William H. Stebbins, born in Manheira, Herkimer county, residence Little Falls; 
College of Physicians and Surgeons western district of New York, February, 1834. 
Registered August 12, 1880. 

Alfred Beach, born at New York city, residence Ilion, N. Y. ; Homeopathic Medical 
College, March 1, 1875. Registered August 13, 1880. 

Eli Fox, born in Columbia, Herkimer county, residence Mohawk; New York Uni- 
versity, March 25, 1855. Registered August 16, 1880. 

Wm. H. Harter, born at Herkimer, re.sidence Herkimer ; College of Physicians and 
Surgeons, New York, March 4, 1852. Registered August 17, 1880. 


Silas Ingham, born in Nassau, Rensselaer county, residence Little Falls ; College of 
Physicians and Surgeons, Fairfield, February, 1839. Registered August 17, 1880. 

Stephen A. Ingham, born at Ingham's Mills, Herkimer county, residence Little Falls ; 
Albany Medical College, December 26, 1871. Registered September 9, 1880. 

Albert J. Browne, born in Warren, Herkimer county, residence Newport, Herkimer 
county ; Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Mass., 1865. Registered August 20, 

Charles W. Hamlin, born at Holland Patent, residence Middleville; Bellevue Hos- 
pital Medical College, March, 1866. Registered August 26, 1880. 

Benjamin E. Bushnell, born in Fairfield, residence Little Falls; Albany Medical Col- 
lege, January, 1844. Registered August 2C, 1880. 

Kenyon A. Bushnell, born at Albany, residence Little Falls; Albany Medical College, 
January 29. 1878. Registered August 26, 1880. 

Harvey J. Christman, born at Herkimer, residence Columbia; Albany Medical Col- 
lege, December 27, 1864. Registered August 28, 1880. 

Peter Pryne, born at Frankfort, Herkimer county, residence Herkimer; Geneva 
Medical College, January 27, 1846. Registered August 31, 1880. 

Isaac N. Willard. born in Fairfield, residence Fairfield ; Bellevue Hospital Medical 
College, February 23, 1875. Registered August 28, 1880. 

Adelbert J. Douglass, born in Leyden, Lewis county, residence Ilion ; Long Island 
College Hospital, June 26, 1873. Registered August 31, 1880. 

George Graves, born at Herkimer, residence Herkimer ; Buftalo Medical College, Feb- 
ruary 22, 1870. Registered September 1, 1880. 

Lucius L. Brainard, born in Exeter, Otsego county, N. Y., residence. Little Falls; 
New York Homeopathic Medical College, March 5, 1874. Registered September 1, 

John D. Young, born at Springfield, Otsego county, residence Starkville ; '' Academiaj 
Medioinje Kentuckiensis,'' 1865 Registered September 2, 1880. 

John P. Sharer, born in Little Falls, residence Little Falls; College of Physicians and 
Surgeons, New York, March 1, 1848. Registered September 1, 1885. 

Cyrus Kay, jr., born at Frankfort, residence Herkimer ; College of Physicians and 
Surgeons, New York, March 12, 1880. Registered September 1, 1880. 

William H. H. Parkhurst, born in Winfield, Herkimer county, residence Frankfort ; 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, Fairfield, January 23, 1840. Registered Septem- 
ber 7, 1880. 

James Hemstreet, born in Ohio. Herkimer county, residence Poland ; Oneida County 
Medical Society, Utica, October 14, 1874. Registered September 8, 1880. 

AlmanzoG. Barney, born in Newport, Herkimer county, residence Brockelt's Bridge ; 
Albany Medical College, December 24, 1860. Registered September 7, 1880. 

Henry A. France, born in Herkimer, residence Poland ; Albany Medical College, 
December 25, 1864. Registered September 10, 1880. 

Nelson Isham, born in Connecticut, re.sidence Little Falls ; Yale Medical College, 
March 4, 1828. Registered September 11, 1880. 

G. T. Hyland, born in Madison county, residence Little Falls; Bellevue Medical Col- 
lege, March 1, 1879. Registered September 11, 1880. 


William Landt, born in Danube, Herkimer county, residence Mohawk ; New York 
Medical College, March 2, 1858. Registered September 11, 1880. 

P. A. Skiff, born in Schuyler, Herkimer county, residence Frankfort; Albany Medi- 
cal College, January 21, 1851. Registered September 13, 1880. 

George P. Rasbach, born in Herkimer, residence Mohawk; Bellevue Hospital Med- 
ical College, February 26, 1876. Registered September 14, 1880. 

Moritz R. Richter, born in Germany, residence Middleville; University of Leipsic, 
Saxony, October, 1860. Registered September 14, 1880. 

E. M. Draper, born in Broome county, residence Ilion ; Albany Medical College, Jan- 
uary 20, 1874. Registered September 14, 1880. 

William H. Brown, born in Litchfield, Herkimer county, residence Cedarville; Al- 
bany Medical College, December 26, 1866. Registered September 16, 1880. 

William Tibbetts, born at Ballston, Saratoga county, residence Newville ; Bellevue 
Hospital Medical College, March, 1867. Registered September 16, 1880. 

Charles Isham, born at Mohawk, residence Little Falls ; Bellevue Hospital Medical 
College, March 1, 1866. Registered September 16, 1880. 

Malek A. Southworth, born m New York State, residence Little Falls; College of 
Physicians and Surgeons, New York, February 5, 1846. Registered September 17, 

Peter F. Bellinger, born in Herkimer, residence Herkimer; Bellevue Hospital Med- 
ical College, March 1, 1879. Registered September 17, 1880. 

Peter Yost, born in Johnstown, residence Little Falls ; Medical College of Castleton, 
Tt., 1847. Registered September 18, 1880. 

Leslie R. Quackenbush, born in Herkimer, residence Brockett's Bridge; University 
Medical College, New York, March 13. 1880. Registered September 17, 1880. 

Theodore J. Ashley, born in Whitestown, Oneida county, residence Ohio; State 
Eclectic Medical Society, Pennsylvania, 1863. Registered August 10, 1880. 

Z. R. May, born in Bridgeport, Conn., residence Schuyler; Eclectic Medical College, 
Philadelphia, 1861. Registered September 21, 1880. 

A. D. Coffin, born in Deerfleld, Oneida county, residence Frankfort; University of 
the City of New York, March 1 , 1880. Registered September 21, 1880. 

J. B. Ellis, born in Whitestown, Oneida county, residence Little Falls ; Bellevue 
Medical College, March 1, 1871. Registered September 21, 1880. 

Daniel Lord, born in New York city, residence Warren, Herkimer county ; the med- 
ical department of ihe Northwestern University, Chicago, March 13, 1873. Registered 
September 23, 1880. 

James E. Casey, born in Schenectady county, residence Mohawk; Albany Medical 
College, 1852. Registered September 24, 1880. 

James M. Rose, born in Herkimer county, residence West Winfield ; College of 
Physicians and Surgeons, Fairfield, January, 1837. Registered September 24, 1880. 

James F. Huntley, jr., born in Williamstown, Oswego county, residence West Win- 
field ; Medical Department University of City of New York, February 20, 1877. Reg- 
istered September 24, 1880. 

Henry H. Green, born in Paine's Hollow, Herkimer county, residence Paine's Hol- 
low ; Geneva Medical College, 1859. Registered September 22, 1880. 


David M. Diefendorf, born in German Flats, residence Herkimer ; College of Physi- 
cians and Surgeons, New York, March, 1861. Registered Septeff.ber 27, 1880. 

J. B. Holcomb, born in Yermont, residence Newport; Albany Medical College, De- 
cember 24, 1855. Registered September 28, 1880. 

Sydney S. Carter, born in Madison, Conn., residence Newport; Eclectic Medical So- 
ciety, October 18, 1876, and National Ecleotical Society of Detroit, Mich., June 19, 
1878. Registered September 28, 1880. 

Henry Lewis, jr., born in Little Falls, residence Little Falls ; Albany Medical College, 
January 29, 1879. Registered September 29, 1880. 

J. Dayton Munn, born in Litchfield, Herkimer county, residence Stark ; Albany Med- 
ical College, June 17, 1844. Registered September 27, 1880. 

H. J. Spencer, born in West Winfield, residence West Winfield ; Homeopathic Med- 
ical College. New York, February, 1870. Registered September 29, 1880. 

Allison 0. Douglass, born in Ava, N. Y., residence Little Falls; Long Island College 
Hospital June 26, 1876. Registered September 30, 1880. 

William H. Craig, born at Ottawa, Canada, residence West Schuyler; University of 
the City of New York, July 14, 1874. Registered September 30, 1880. 

Loomis Warner, residence West Winfield ; College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
Fairfield, January 26, 1826. Registered October 29, 1880. 

Miles Longshore, born at Depeyster, St. Lawrence county, residence Cold Brook ; 
University of Vermont, June 26, 1879. Registered October 1, 1880. 

Lemuel Fitch Pattengill, born in Otsego county, residence West Winfield ; Medical 
Department University of City of New York, February 17, 1880. Registered April 1 

Frank D. Crim, born at Mohawk, residence Mohawk ; College of Physicians and 
Surgeons, New York, November 9, 1880. Registered June 9. 1881. 

Charles Harvey Glidden, born in Clarendon, New York, residence Little Falls ; Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, May 13, 1881. Registered August 25, 

William D. Garlock, born in Manheim, residence Little Falls; College of Physicians 
and Surgeons, New York, October 11, 1881. Registered October 28, 1881. 

John M. Mangan, born in County Kerry, Ireland, residence Little Falls; Medical 
Department University of Pennsylvania, March 14, 1857. Registered December 23, 

Edgar C. Swift, born at Paine's Hollow, residence Jordanville ; Syracuse University 
College of Medicine, June 9, 1881. Registered January 25, 1882. 

Elmer G. Kern, born in Madison county, N. Y., residence Herkimer; Hahnemann 
Medical College, Philadelphia, March 10, 1881. Registered February 21, 1882. 

David F. Blanchard, born at Cooperstown, N. Y., residence Boston ; Royal College 
of Surgeons, London, Eng., March 22, 1852, and Medical Department of Vermont 
University, November 10, 1849. Registered February 22, 1882. 

Charles P. Beaman, born at Philadelphia, Pa., residence Stamford, Conn. ; New York 
Homeopatiiic College, March 16, 1882. Registered March 30, 1882. 

William H. Dewing, born in Litchfield, residence Utica ; Hahnemann Homeopathic 
Medical College, Philadelphia, March 14, 1882. Registered April 6, 1882. 


Willard Gillett, born in Cherry Valley, residence Starl<ville; Albany Medical Col- 
lege, March 1, 1882. Registered April 17,1882. 

Charles A. Ward, born in Candor, Tioga county, N. Y., residence Troy, N. Y. ; 
United States Medical College, New York, March 8, 1882. Registered June 7, 1882. 

Daniel P. Van Court, born in Otsego county, residence Mohawk ; Albanv Medical 
College, December 23, 1875. Registered April 14, 1884. 

Willard Holt, born at Newport, N. Y., residence Dolgeville; University of Michigan, 
June 26, 1879. Registered March 30, 1883. 

Seymour S. Richards, born in Newport, N. Y., residence East Schuyler ; University 
of the City of New York, March 13, 1883. Registered April 10, 1883. 

John H. Stephens, born at Frankfort, N. Y., residence Cedarville ; Albany Medical 
College, March 7, 1883. Registered May 3, 1883. 

Edward S. Willard, born in Fairfield, residence Watertown ; Albany Medical College, 
March 3, 1880. Registered June 5, 1883. 

Irving O. Nellis, born in Herkimer, residence Herkimer; Medical Department of 
University of Vermont, June 22, 1882. Registered June 5, 1883. 

Clark Getman, born in Columbia, N. Y., residence Dolgeville ; Medical University 
at Buffalo, February 22, 1883. Registered June 19, 1883. 

Emory A. Eakin, born at Gallipolis, Ohio, residence Buffalo ; Miami Medical Col- 
lege, Cincinnati, March 2, 1869. Registered April 18, 1884. 

Charles O. Zimmerman, born in Hermon, N. Y., residence Frankfort; Medical Col- 
lege of Maryland University, March 1, 1882. Registered June 3, 1884. 

Walter B. Miller, born in Delaware county, N. Y., residence Salisbury Centre ; 
Albany Medical College, March 2, 1882. Registered June 3, 1884. 

Peter Walter Emmons, born in Romulus, Seneca county, N. Y., residence Syracuse, 
N. Y. ; Physio Eclectic Medical College of Ohio, January 22, 1876. Registered 
August 17, 1884. 

Henry J. Vrooman, born at Trenton, Oneida county, residence Norway ; Bellevue 
Hospital Medical College, March 13, 1882. Registered September 3, 1884. 

John V. Hennesey, born at New York city, residence Little Falls , Albany Medical 
College, March 4, 1884. Registered October 4, 1884. 

George C. Morey, born at Lebanon, N. Y., residence Grant ; University of Ver- 
mont, June 6, 1865. Registered October 25, 1884. 

James A. Moors, born in Salisbury, residence West Winfield; College of Physicians 
and Surgeons, City of New York, May 13, 1881. Registered December 15, 1884. 

James B. Kershaw, born in Litchfield, residence Van Hornesville; Albany Medical 
College, December 23, 1875. Registered January 6, 1885. 

Franklin B. Smith, born atHdlsdale, Mich., residence Buffalo; Hahnemann Medical 
College, Chicago, February 24, or 26, 1879. Registered January 9, 1885. 

E. S. B. Spencer, born ia Winfield, residence West Winfield; Hahnemann Medical 
College, Chicago, February 20, 1881. Registered January 21, 1885. 

Irving S. Edsall, born in Roxbury, Delaware county, N. Y., residence Middleville ; 
Albany Medical College, March 4, 1885. Registered April 13, 1885. 


James A. Barringer, born in Schodack, Rensselaer county, residence Genesee county; 
Medical Department University of Buffalo, February 25, 1873. Registered June lii, 

Albert D. Chattaway, born in Springfield, Mass., residence Ilion ; New York Homeo- 
pathic Medical College, April 17, 1885. Registered August 2G, 1885. 

William B. Woodhull, born at Painesville, Ohio, residence Poland ; Unirersily of 
the City of New York, March 9, 1882 Registered October 30, 1885. 

E. E. Kelley, born in Salisbury, residence Salisbury ; Hahnemann Medical College, 
Chicago, February 25, 1S86. Registered March 29, 1886. 

George H. Greeley, born at Syracuse, residence Ilion; Homeopathic Medical Col- 
lege, New York, March 3, 1864. Registered January 11, 1887. 

Thomas F. Lynott, born al Pittstown, Pa., residence Frankfort; University Medical 
College, New York, March 8, 1886. Registered January 17, 1887. 

John W. Sheflield, born at St. Johnsville, residence Van Hornesville ; Albany Medi- 
cal College, March 3, 1886. Registered January 18, 1887. 

Delevan E. Walker, born at Dolgeville, residence Ilion ; Medical Department Uni- 
versity of Buffalo, February 22, 1882. Registered April 25, 1887. 

E. Townsend Jones, born al Newburgh, N. Y., residence Kingston ; certificate of 
license from Censors of Eclectic Medical Society, April 8, 1878. Registered May 24. 

H. A. Ward, born in Hartland, N. Y., residence Ilion ; Pulte Medical College of 
Cincinnati, March 3, 1887. Registered October 14, 1887. 

William Dougan, born at St. Catharines, Canada, residence Buffalo; Niagara Univer- 
sity of Buffalo, May 3, 1807. Registered December 12, 1887. 

Fred E. Easton, born in Cedarville, residence Richfield Springs ; Long Island College 
Hospital, May 22, 1884. Registered July 7, 1885. 

William H. Dudley, born in Madison, Conn., residence Newport ; University of the 
City of New York, March 9, 1882. Registered December 4, 1888. 

J. M. Showerman, born at Batavia, N. Y., residence Batavia ; College of Physicians 
and Surgeons of Buffalo, February 22, 1882. Registered April 29, 1889. 

Charles G. Strobel, born in Ohio, N. Y., residence Dolgeville; Long Island College 
Hospital, March 9, 1888. Registered May 16, 1889. 

Fred M. Barney, born at Brocketl's Bridge, residence Dolgeville ; Union University 
of Albany, March 15, 1888. Registered May 20, 1889. 

George W. Mangus, born in Herkimer, residence Little Falls ; Columbus Medical 
College, Ohio, February 29, 1888. Registered August 7, 1889. 

Benjamin F. French, born in Ohio, residence Little Falls ; Hahnemann Medical 
College, Philadelphia, March 6, 1880. Registered September 26, 1889. 

Edgar H. Douglas, born in Massachusetts, residence Little Falls; Dartmouth Medi- 
cal College, Hanover,' N. H., November 26, 1889. Registered December 2, 1889. 

Charles W. Nichols, born in Fairfield, residence Fairfield ; Albany Medical College, 
March 21, 1889. Registered February 27, 1890. 

De Witt P. Bailey, born at Richfield Springs, residence Van Hornesville ; New York 
University Medical College, March 4, 1889. Registered May 22, 1890. 


George A. Armstrong, born in Plain field, Otsego county, residence West WinBeld ; 
University of State of New Yorlc, l\rarch 5, 1884. Registered June 3. 1890. 

Brounislaus Onufrowics, born in Siberia, residence Dolgeville; Swiss Confederation 
of Berne, Switzerland, November 27, 1884. Registered October 4, 18S0. 

Oliver T. Lines, born m Connecticut, residence Brooklyn, New York ; Hygeo 
Therapeutic College, March 29, 1859. Registered November 3, 1890. 

Le Grand H. Hollon, born at Albion, N. Y., residence Herkimer; University of 
Michigan, June 30, 1869. Registered December 16, 1890. 

Jasper D. Fitch, born at Burlington. N. Y., residence Mohawk ; Medical Department 
University of the City of New York, February 18, 1872. Registered January IG, 

William P. Smith, born at Glens Falls, residence Albany ; University of Vermont, 
June 29, 1885. Registered February 26, 1891. 

J. T. Hard, born at East Worcester, N. Y., residence Little Falls ; Albany Medical 
College, March 18, 1877. Registered April 11, 1891. 

John D. Hilton, born at Kingston, N. C, residence Stratford, Fulton county ; Uni- 
versity of City of New York, March 24, 1891. Registered May 7, 1891. 

Merton W. Brown, born in Litchfield, N. Y., residence Cedarville ; Albany Medical 
College, April 1, 1891. Registered June 2, 1891. 

B. Rush Jackson, born in Berwick, Pa., residence Amsterdam ; Electro-Therapeutic 
Institute, Philadelphia, October 23, 188G. Registered July 28, 1891. 

John Logan, born in Ireland, residence Little Falls; Bellevue Ho.«pital Medical 
College. March 14, 1883. Registered October 29, 1891. 

L. B. Palmiter, born in Hamilton, N. Y.. residence Ilion ; University of Vermont, 
July 13, 1891. Registered November 10, 1891. 

William Edwin Hayes, born at Frankfort, residence Frankfort; Medical Department 
University of City of New York, March 24, 1891. Registered February 1. 18i)2. 

Henry Francis Kilbourn, born at Elizabethtown, Canada, residence Croghan, N. Y. ; 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, Buffalo, February 2o, 1881. Registered March 31, 

J. H. Shaper, born at Canajoharie, residence Herkimer; University of Michigan, 
July 3, 1891. Registered September 27, 1892. 

Channing A. Holt, born at Hartford, Conn., residence Albany ; Medical University 
of City of New York, January 16, 1892. Registered September 26, 1892. 


Dr. Westel Willoughby was a native of Connecticut, and one of the 
most eminent of the early physicians of Herkimer county. While still 
a young man he settled in Norway, where he began his practice at 
about the time of the first settlement of the Royal Grant. He subse- 
quently removed to the valley of the West Canada Creek, where he 
made for himself a beautiful home near the village of Newport; this he 


continued to own and beautify throughout his life. He was for about 
twenty years professor of midwifery and of the diseases of women and 
children in the Fairfield Medical College, and for a portion of that time 
was president of the institution. Outside of his profession he was pub- 
lic-spirited, benevolent, and active in the affairs of the county. He 
was twice chosen member of Assembly, 1807-08. He was appointed 
one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas in March, 1805, and 
so continued until 1821. He belonged to the medical staff of the mili- 
tia during the war of 181 2, and spent some time on the frontier. He 
was elected to Congress from his district in 18 14. Dr. Willoughby 
died at Newport in 1844, aged seventy- five years. 

Dr. Rufus Crain was one of the original members of the County 
Medical Society and a native of Worcester county, Mass. He settled 
in the town of Warren in 1790, having already studied for his pro 
fession. His zeal and success was such that in a few years he found 
himself in the enjoyment of an extensive practice. He was one of the 
early and earnest patrons of the Fairfield Medical College Dr. Crain 
was not an active politician, but his personal qualifications were such 
that his fellow- citizens called him to several positions of trust. He was 
appointed one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas in Feb- 
ruary, 1817, and continued such until 1820; was reappointed in 1821, 
1823, and 1828, and held the office until 1833. He was chosen presi- 
dential elector in 1828. He was a sociable and hospitable man, and 
his character and life were worthy of esteem. He died in Warren Sep- 
tember 18, 1846, leaving a son and a daughter and a large estate. 

Dr. William Mather was born in Fairfield April 28, 1802, and was a 
son of the pioneer Moses Mather. Dr. Mather was graduated from 
Fairfield College in 1826, andbecame a member of the County Medical 
Society in 1831. Early in his professional career he became deeply in- 
terested in chemistry, and from 1828 to 1868 was a very popular lect- 
urer upon that subject. In 1838 he was appointed instructor of chem- 
istry in Hamilton Literary and Theological Seminary, and in 1841 was 
chosen professor of chemistry and pharmacy in Castleton Medical Col- 
lege, Vt. From 1852 to 1868 he was professor of chemistry, geology 
and mineralogy in Madison University. Dr. Mather's residence was in 
Fairfield, where he was one of the most honored citizens. He died 
June 26, 1890. 

Wi^/M \'!^^^^y^^^X^k 


Dr. Stephen Todd was born in Wallingford, Conn., December 23, 
1773 His father removed to Sah'sbury in 1792, and there the young 
man aided his father in clearing a home. Having studied his profession, 
he began practice in Sah'sbury in 1800, and became a member of the 
County Medical Society in 18 19. He was captain of a company of 
militia in the war of 1812 and served on the frontier. In 1821 he was 
nominated for the Assembly and received a majority of the popular 
vote, but failed to obtain his certificate of election from the county 
clerk. Dr. Todd attained a fair degree of eminence in his profession 
and was justly esteemed by the community. He died in Salisbury in 
the same month and on the same day of the month of his birth, in 1827, 
aged fifty- four. 

Dr. Abijah Tombling was one of the original members of the County 
Medical Society and a coteniporary of Dr. Willoughby. He settled in 
the town of Norway near the close of the last century. Later in life 
he removed to Herkimer village. He was appointed surrogate of the 
county in 18 16 and held the office until 1821. From that time he par- 
tially or wholly gave up his profession. He died in Herkimer, leaving 
a family. 

Dr. William Petry was the earliest physician of prominence in Her- 
kimer county. He was born near Oppenheim, in Germany, December 
7' 1733. ^'■'d came to this country in 1763 ; he married Salome Wolf, 
daughter of John Wolf, of Cosby's Manor, in 1766. He had served 
as surgeon in the Prussian army before coming to America. Previous 
to the Revolution he was interested in a store at the site of Herkimer 
village. He was a member of the Tryon County Committee of Safety 
in 1775, and acted as justice of the peace during the Revolution. 
From 1776 to 1779 he was employed as surgeon at Fort Dayton and 
was General Herkimer's medical adviser ; was appointed surgeon of 
Colonel Willett's regiment in April, 1781. He participated in the 
battle of Oriskany and was wounded in the leg ; was with Colonel 
Willett in the pursuit after Ross and Butler; also accompanied his reg- 
iment in February, 1783, in the expedition to capture the Oswego 

After the Revolution Dr. Petry was actively engaged in his profession 
throughout the Mohawk valley for many years and to near the close of 


his life. He was also iaterested in mercantile business at Herkimer 
after the war and continued in it until near his death. Dr. Petry died 
at Herkimer August 6, 1806, leaving several sons and daughters. One 
of tiie latter was the mother of Samuel Earl and Judge Robert Earl. 

Dr. H. VV. Doolittle, died in the year 1853. We have no data from 
which to write a sketch of his life, but a resolution adopted by the Med- 
ical Society speaks of his high professional attainments as well as his 
personal qualities, which rendered him a most useful and estimable mem- 
ber of the community. He died December 7, 1853. 

Dr. Nathan S. Willard (father of X. A. Willard), an early physician 
of Herkimer county, was born at Saybrook, Conn., March 29, 1788. 
He was graduated from Fairfield Medical College July 14, 1810, and at 
once began the practice of his profession at Eatonville. At that period 
there were but few physicians in the county, and Dr. Willard's practice 
extended over a wide territory, embracing in part the towns of Fairfield, 
Newport, Herkimer and Little Falls. He was skilled in his profession, 
liberal and progressive in mind and energetic and conscientious in the 
performance of his duty as a physician and citizen. In 1813 he married 
Mary Wharry, eldest daughter of Judge Evans Wharry ; a sketch of 
Judge Wharry's life appears in this work under the Bench and Bar. 
Dr. Willard died September 29, 1827. 

Dr. Daniel Belknap came to Herkimer county in 1823, and entered the 
office of Dr. N. S. Willard, then a prominent physican at Eatonville. 
He was graduated in 1 828 at Fairfield and took up Dr. Willard's practice. 
In 1832 he settled in Little Falls and practiced here until his death. 
It was written of him that his close observation, keen perception, and 
clear discrimination rendered his judgment almost infallible. He was 
fearless in defense of the right and possessed many good qualities as a 
man and a citizen. 

Dr. Lester Green commenced the study of medicine under Dr. Luther 
Giteau of Trenton, Oneida county, in 1803. In 1821 he was gradu- 
ated from Fairfield Medical College, and began practice at Little 
Falls, where he was actively engaged in his profession for thirty years. 
He was elected a permanent member of the New York State Medical 
Society in 1843, and for two terms was president of that society. In 
1849 he was chosen a delegate to the United States Medical Society. 


Dr. Green was for many years a leading physician of the county, and 
has left a record for being sound in judgment, skillful, devoted to his 
profession and public spirited as a citizen. He died at I.ittle Falls Feb- 
ruary 6, 1849. 

Dr. S. A. Ingham was born in Rensselaer county April 3, 18 17, and 
in the following year removed with his father to what is now Ingham's 
Mills. He studied medicine with Dr. Nolton and was graduated from 
the Medical College in January, 1840. From that time until 1844 he 
was associated with Dr. Booth, of Russia, after which he located in Ing- 
ham's Mills. In 1849 he removed to Little Falls where he was in 
practice more than thirty years. He served over two years as surgeon 
of the I52d New York Regiment in the Civil War. 

Dr. P. Pryne, was an early physician in Frankfort where he was 
born in 1820. He studied medicine with Dr. H. W. Doolittle and be- 
gan practice in Herkimer in 1844. His grandfather, Peter Pryne, served 
at the battle of Oriskany, where he was wounded, and his father, Francis 
Pryne, served in the war of 181 2. 

Griffin Sweet, M. D., was born in March, 1814, in Norway, Herkimer 
county. He was graduated at Fairfield Medical College and located in 
Fairfield where he practiced his profession until near his death. He 
held the office of supervisor, was superintendent of the schools, and a 
member of Assembly from his district in 1863. He was an able man 
intellectually and stood high in his profession. 

Dr. Hamblin B. Maben was born in Greene county, N. Y., March 27, 
1 833. After receiving a classical education he studied medicine and was 
graduated at the Albany Medical College at the age of twenty four. 
Locating in Ilion in i860 he soon gained a large practice and long oc- 
cupied a foremost place in the profession. He was honored with 
many positions of trust in local offices and was twice the Democratic 
nominee for the Assembly. He also became largely interested in build- 
ing and other real estate operations in Ilion. 

James Hemstreet was born in the town of Ohio, Herkimer county, in 
1826. He studied medicine with his father, Richard I. Hemstreet, 
practiced in Trenton, Gray and Newport, finally settling in Poland vil- 
lage in 1865. 

Fairfield Medical College. — The College of Physicians and Surgeons 
of the western district of New York, located at Fairfield, Herkimer 


county, had its origin in the medical school established by the trustees 
of Fairfield Academy, in 1809. This school had acquired some reputa- 
tion while attached to the academy. It was such even in the second 
year of its existence as to induce the Legislature of the State to endow 
it with $5,000, and when it received the rank of college, they generous- 
ly added to its funds the further sum of $10,000 

The charter of the college bears date June 12, 1812, to which is ap- 
pended the seal of the University of the State, and signed by Daniel D. 
Tompkins, Chancellor of the University of the State of New York ; H. 
Bloodgood, secretary. 

In the charter the following persons are named as constituting the 
board of trustees, viz. : 

Westel Willoughby, Jun., Jonathan Sherwood, Luther Giteaii, Solomon Wolcot, 
Isaac Sears, Abijah Tombling, Amos Hale, Simeon Ford, Clark Smith, Joseph White, 
Alexander G. Fonda, Oliver C. Comstock, John Miller, Isaac Sargeaut, Reuben Hart, 
Amasa Trowbridge, Francis A. Bloodgood, William D. Ford, James^Kennedy, Oliver 
Ellis, Andrew A. Bartow, William Smith, John Stearns and James Hale; they and their 
successors were to have perpetual succession. 

At a meeting of the board of trustees, held December i, 181 2, the 
following individuals were appointed officers of the college, viz. : 

Lyman Spalding, professor of anatomy and surgery ; Westel Will- 
oughby, jr. , professor of obstetrics ; James Hadley, professor of chem- 
istry ; John Stearns, professor of the theory and practice of physic. 

The class of 1812-13, ^^ appears by the records, consisted of eight- 
een medical students. During the session of 1813-14 it numbered 
twenty- four. 

At a meeting of the board, March 23, 1815, T. Romeyn Beck was 
recommended to the honorable regents to fill the office of professor of 
the institutes of medicine. 

January 30, 1816, the degree of doctor of medicine was conferred on 
two individuals, viz.: Horatio Orvis and Sylvester Miller. Dr. Beck 
gave his first course on medical jurisprudence. Number of students, 
28 ; 4 graduates. 

At a meeting of the board, May 20, 1817, Dr. Joseph White, of 
Cherry Valley, was appointed president and professor of anatomy and 
surgery in the college in place of Dr. Spalding. At the same meeting 


it was resolved that President White have leave to substitute his son, 
Deles White, M. D., to deliver lectures on anatomy in his stead. 

January 20, 1818, the class consisted of 41 students, of whom 7 were 
considered worthy of the degree of doctor of medicine. 

January 19, 1819, a resolution was passed by the board of trustees 
dismissing any student who should be concerned, directly or indirectly, 
in digging up any dead human body for the purpose of dissection in 
the college. 

January 20, 1820, the Legislature was petitioned for a law for giving 
the dead bodies of unclaimed convicts of the State prison at Auburn 
to the college, for the purposes of dissection. 

January 23, 1821, Dr. Delos White resigned his professorship of an- 
atomy, in conseqence of the difficulty of procuring subjects for dissec- 
tion. The same year it was resolved to extend the course of lectures 
from twelve to sixteen weeks. 

January 22, 1822, James McNaughton, M. D., was made professor of 
anatomy and physiology. Sixty-two students ; 14 graduates. 

For several years subsequent to this period the affairs of the college 
continued to prosper and the number of students to increase. At the 
close of the session ending in January, 1827, Joseph White, M. D., in 
consequence of age and infirmities, resigned his professorship, and was 
succeeded in the chair of surgery by John Delamater, M. D. Number 
of students in attendance this session, 144; graduates, 25. In conse- 
quence of the increase of students an additional college edifice was 
erected containing thirty- two lodging rooms, and the lecture rooms 
of the old college edifice were enlarged and rendered more commodious. 

In 1828 the number of students was 171 ; graduates, 33. 

In 1832 the number of students had increased to 205 ; graduates, 39. 

The largest class ever assembled at the college was during the 
session ending in January, 1834, when the number reached 217, of 
whom 55 received the degree of doctor of medicine. The following 
year the number was 198. 

The organization of the medical department of Geneva College, and 
subsequently the incorporation of a medical college in the city of Al- 
bany, together with other causes, had the effect to diminish the number 
of students in attendance at the Fairfield college from the year 1834 


until the final suspension of lectures in the latter institution by the 
faculty; yet the numbers continued to be respectable, and probably 
would have been until the present time had the proper efforts been con- 
tinued to sustain it. During the year 1836 the regents confirmed the 
following alterations, by which the professorships stood as follows: 

Westel Willoiigliliy, M. D., emeritus professor of midwifery. 
James Hadley, M. D., professor of chemistry and pharmacy. 
T. Romeyn Beck, M. D., professor of materia iriedica and medical jurisprudence. 
James MoNaugliton, M. D., professor of anatomy and physiology. 
John Delamater, M. D., professor of practice of physic and diseases of women and 

Reuben D. Mussey, M. D., profe.'ssor of surgery and mid%vifery. 

Subsequently, Frank H. Hamilton, M. D., succeeded Professor Mus- 
sey in the chair of surgery, and witii this exception the faciilt\' remained 
as above during the operation of the institution. The last course of 
lectures was given during the winter of 1839-40. The number of stu- 
dents in attendance was 105, of whom 26 received the degree of doctor 
of medicine. After the cessation of medical lectures the college build- 
ings were changed to adapt them for the extension of Fairfield Acad- 
emy. (See history of that institution.) Lyman Spaulding, M. D., was 
the first president of the college, and was succeeded in office by Joseph 
White, M. D., in 18 17, who resigned in 1827. The venerable Professor 
Willoughby succeeded Dr. White and held the office until his decease. 




THE town of German Flats lies in the southern central part of Herki- 
mer county, and is bounded on the north by the Mohawk River; 
on the east by Little Falls ; southerly by the towns of Warren and Co- 
himbia, and westerly by Frankfort. A broad and fertile intervale lies 
along the river, from which the surface rises gradually to a height of 300 
to 400 feet and stretches away in a hilly upland. Fulmer's Creek di- 
vides the upland into two nearly equal parts. Steele's Creek flows 
through the western part. 

This town was originally formed as the " fifth, or German Flats dis- 
trict " of Tryon county, March 24, 1772, and was recognized as a town 
on the 7th of March, 1788. In 1796 the towns of Frankfort, Litchfield 
and Warren were taken off, and in 1829 a part of Little Falls. When 
the town was erected (1788) it comprised all that portion of Mont- 
gomery county south of the Mohawk River, bounded easterly by Cana- 
joharie (the western bounds of that town being the Susquehanna River, 
Otsego Lake, and a line from the head waters of the lake to the Little 
Falls) ; south by the north line of the town of Otsego, running from the 
head waters of Otsego Lake, in the patent granted to George Croghan 
and others, along the northerly bounds of that patent to the north- 
west corner of it and extending westerly to the river, and along the 
northerly line of the Edminston patent; westerly by the west line of 
the town of Herkimer continued south to the town of Otsego, or in 
other words nearly by the present eastern bounds of Oneida county. 
Besides the towns before mentioned these boundaries included a part of 
Otsego county. The present area of the town is nearly 20,000 acres, 
and comprises a large portion of the Burnetsfield patent ; nearly all of 

' In arrangement of the following town histories it was deemed advisable to take the older and 
more historically important towns first, rather than to follow the chronological order of their 
formation. The reader should also bear in mind that the personal history of each town is largely 
augmented by the sketches in the last department of the volume. 


Staley's first tract ; the whole of Frank's patent, and a part of the Guy 
Johnson tract. 

To this town and in the vicinity of the " old stone church " came 
some of the early Palatine settlers. Near the site of the church the 
first settlers built a school- house of logs before the year 1730, which was 
probably used by the God-fearing Germans for worship until their first 
church was erected, the predecessor of the stone church. The ground 
on which the school house was built had been assigned to Nicholas 
Wollaber, grandfather of the Nicholas who died at a venerable age in 
1861. On the little creek just east of the stone church the Germans 
also built a grist-mill before the year 1730 (probably in 1725), and "it 
was without doubt the first mill erected within the present limits of the 
county. Both the school-house and the mill are referred to in the deed 
of Nicholas Wollaber given for the site of the present stone church, 
which is dated September 24, 1730.^ In the first church erected on 
this site were pews, or seats, to which the people held title, as seen by 
the will of Nicholas Feller, who gave to his grandson, John Nicholas 
Christman, son of John Christman, his pew in the church which he 
called his " seat or place in our church." 

Here those early German settlers, descendants of some of whom are 
still residents in this county, and in a few instances on the same lands 
on which their remote ancestors dwelt, enjoyed a period of repose and 
prosperity of thirty years, to be rudely disturbed by the incursion of the 
French and Indians in 1757, who destroyed crops, cattle and carried 
away many of the people as prisoners. Among these was John Jost 
Petri, probably the foremost man in the settlement at that time. Saw- 
mills and grist-mills were burned, the sites of some of which are known. 
A grist-mill on Steele's Creek, where is now the village of Ilion, was 
destroyed, as shown in the following descriptive language in a French 
record of a journey through the valley, from which we have quoted in 
an earlier chapter : 

Continuing along the high road wliich is on the right bank of the river Mohawk, to 
go to Fort Kouari [Herkimer] a creek is met [Steele's] that must be forded. Here was 
a grist-mill that has been burnt. One league before reaching Fort Kouari another 
small stream is encountered [Fulmer's CreekJ over which there is a bridge. This stream 

' Samuel Earl's papers. 

:.^ j^^^^l^^^ 



is fordable almost at all seasons. There was also a saw-mill on this creek which had 
lieen burnt. 

Another grist-mill burned was on lands of the late Frederick P. Bel- 
linger, on the north side of the river. (See history of Herkimer.) 

Among the German families who settled in German Flats, and mainly 
in the eastern part, were those of Woolaber, Stelly. Wolever, Erghemar, 
Bellinger, Fox, Edich, Staring, Shoemaker, and others; many of these 
names have since been changed in orthography to conform to English 

The stone church at Fort Herkimer was erected in 1751-53, the pre- 
cise time not being known, and formed a part of the stockaded defense 
built under the administration of Sir William Johnson in 1756. After 
using the log church at first erected for about a quarter of a century, 
the thrifty Germans began to feel the need of more commodious quar- 
ters, and in pursuance of their object issued the following petition : 

To his Excellency, the Honourable George Clinton, Captain-General and GoTernor-in- 
Chief of the province of New York and Territories thereon depending in America, 
Vice-Admiral of the same, and Admiral of the White Squadron of his Majesty's 
The humble petition of Johan Joost Herchheimer, of Burnet's Field, in the County 
of Albany, yeoman, in behalf of himself and the rest of the inhabitants. High Ger- 
mans living here, humbly sheweth : 

That your petitioner and sundry other High Germans to the number of one hundred 
families and upwards, at present resident at Burnet's Field, in this prOTince, propose, 
with your Excellency's permission, to erect a Stone Church on the South side of the 
River, upon a convenient spot of ground already purchased by the Inhabitants, for the 
Worship of Almighty God, according to the discipline of the Reformed Protestant 
Dutch Church. But finding themselves unable alone to finish and complete the same, 
your petitioner therefore, in behalf of the said Inhabitants, humbly prays your Excel- 
lency will be favorably pleased to grant a Brief or Lycense to crave the voluntary as- 
sistance and contribution of all well disposed persons within this province, for com- 
pleting the said structure altogether intended for Divine Worship. 
And your petitioner, as in duty bound, shall ever pray, etc. 

Johan Joost Hercheimer. 
Fort George, 
New York, 
October 6, 1751. 
Be it so. 

G. Clinton. 


George Clinton wasted no words in giving his permission, and the 
paper was circulated for subscriptions. The building of the church 
was begun about the date of the petition, but it was not finished when 
the French and Indian invasion of 1757 occurred. After that dis- 
astrous event, which brought poverty upon the people, they applied for, 
and received from, Sir Henry Moore, then governor of the colony, a 
license to solicit subscriptions to complete the church. The subscrip- 
tion paper read as follows : 

TO ALL Christian People to whom this shall come. Whereas, the Inliabitants on 
the South side of the River of Burnet's Field, on the German Flatts, whereas, we are 
about to erect a Church wherein the High Dutch Language in the Prodestant way 
.should be preached. Before the late war, and when the war begun, we was obliged to 
leave of building, and in the war everything was discharged, and a.s we where desirous 
to have a place of worship, we have begun to build a Church, but we find ourselfs not 
abel to finish the same, occasioned by the troubles we had in the war, that is to say, all 
our Houses and Barns, with all we had in them, where burnt, and our Horses and 
Catties where killed and takeing away, and a great many of our People takeing Pris- 
oners by the Enemy, which has unabled us to finish the Church. For them Reasons 
we have desired two of our members, that is to say, Johan Jost Herkemer and Hen- 
drick Bell, to try to collect some money of all good people to enable us to have our 
Church finished, and we hope all good people will take our cause in consideration, as 
we have no place of Worship now but a small Log House. 

We are, in behalf of the Congregation and ourselfs, Gentlemen, 

Your Most Humble Servants, 

AuGoSTENis Hess, 
rodolf schomaker, 
Peter Vols. 
N. B. — I, being old and unable, I therefore send Peter Vols to do the business of 
collecting for me. Johann Jost Hercheimer, Just. 

This appeal secured the needed funds and the church was finished 
in 1767. Its further history will appear a little later in these pages. 

The church as it was finished at that time was one story high and 
forty-eight by fifty-eight feet on the ground, the walls being supported 
by heavy abutments at the corners. The door was on the north side, 
and on the keystone of the arch over the door were the initials, 
J. H. E. s. q. 1767. 

Fort Herkimer, which constituted an important part of the frontier 
defense, embraced a large stone house, probably erected as early as 
1740, and three other stone buildings, one of which was the church 


still standing ; another situated about half a mile east of the church on 
what has been known as the Steele farm, and the third about three- 
quarters of a mile farther east, on the Snell farm. The church was 
surrounded by an earthwork by Sir William Johnson in 1756. The 
first-named stone building was described by the late Mrs. Margaret 
Cristman, of Mohawk, in the following language : 

The building was of stone, forty feet wide and seventy feet long, two stories high with 
a basement. The roof was very steep and covered with oak shingles three feet long. 
The walls of the building were over two feet thick, pierced with six windows, six port 
holes and a door on the front or north side, besides the front windows in the basement, 
wide enough to drive a team through. The basement was under the east end of the 
building, and under the west half of the house was the cellar, each about thirty-five 
feet square. The only opening in the west end was a square window in the upper 
story. The main entrances to the building were two doors, one on the south and the 
other on the north side. The hallway, running through the middle of the building 
from north to south, was about twelve feet wide. Near the north entrance, which was 
then the front, were two doors, one opening into the east and the other into the west 
room, the house being divided into two rooms on the main floor, and the east room sub- 
divided into a large kitchen, a small bedroom and a pantry. A little further on in the 
hall was the grand staircase, broad and easy of ascent, made of white oak, leading to the 
second story, which was divided into three rooms, a bedroom over the hall at the head 
of the stairs, and a large room in each end of the house. The broad old fireplaces, 
both in the lower and the upper rooms, with "pot hook and trammel," and the tradi- 
tional back log and forestick blazing upon the old andirons on a cold day, gave the 
grand old rooms an air of comfort and cheerfulness. 

The French record before quoted says of this fortification : 

It was built as a store and depot for Chouegen (Oswego). It is surrounded by a 
ditch about thirty feet distant. This ditch was six feet deep and seven feet wide. The 
crown of the ditch inside is planted with palisades in an oblique form ; they are well 
jointed the one to the other. Behind these there is a parapet of earth, so as to be able 
to fire over the palisade. The four angles of this parapet, which is at the back of the 
ditch, form, as it were, four little bastions that reciprocally flank each other. (See 
illustration, page 59.) 

It will be seen that this was a fortification of considerable preten- 
sions, both as to size and impregnability against the arms of those days. 
The other two buildings farther east were probably similar in their con- 
struction. Into these the inhabitants fled and found refuge when at- 
tacked, or before expected attacks, by their foes. Such a course was 
followed in 1757, and the lives of many of the inhabitants were thereby 
saved, to witness the burning of some of their dwellings and their 


mills, the French commander showing discretion in not attacking the 

In the War of the Revolution those loyal German settlers, who did 
not hesitate to espouse the cause of freedom, suffered grievously for 
their patriotism, and in September, 1778, Brant, with his tories and In- 
dians, fell upon the prosperous settlement and destroyed it complete!)', 
as we have related in the early pages of this volume. Again in 17S2 
the fair valley in this vicinity was swept over by the enemy, numbering 
about six hundretl tories and Indians. They were first discovered by 
Peter Wolever, who, with Augustinus Hess, lived about fifty rods from 
the fort. Both families were aroused, and all reached the fort e.Ncept 
Mr. Mess, who was killed just as he was entering the gate. The fort 
was at that time only feebly garrisoned, and the few troops could not 
assume the offensive. Valentine Staring was captured in a field not far 
from the stockade and put to the torture with the object of drawing out 
the garrison by his cries for help; but this did not produce the desired 
result and he was tomahawked and scalped. Two of the soldiers and 
these two inhabitants were killed. All the buildings in the settlement, 
excepting George Herkimer's house, were burned and the cattle driven 
away. This incident was described to the late Judge Benton by Nich- 
olas Wolever, in the lifetime of the latter, then living at HerKimer, and 
is undoubtedly authentic, although it has received little or no attention 
from other writers. The wife of Henry Wetherstone, who had incau- 
tiously gone into a field on this occasion, was captured by Indians, tom- 
ahawked and scalped, and, as they supposed, her body left for dead. 
She recovered and lived many years after her long tress of hair had 
been carried away as a trophy. 

Fort Herkimer, it has been seen, was a noted station in the early 
history of the valley, and guarded a section that was more frequently 
than any other made to feel the ruthless blows of the natives and their 
no less relentless white allies. In June, 1785, the Tuscaroras and the 
Oneidas met at the fort and ceded to New York all their territory lying 
between the Chenango and Unadilla Rivers. Here, also, in 1775, was 
raised the first liberty pole in the State and the second one in the coun- 
try ; and Alexander White, sheriff of Tryon county, a great stickler 
for the honor of his sovereign master, heard of the " daring outrage," 


as he termed it, summoned a posse, marched to the fort and made a 
bonfire of the pole and banner. 

At the close of the war the Herkimer family again occupied their 
mansion and the settlers took up their peaceful labors. Previous to 
that the highway ran along down under the hill a mile west of the fort, 
then turned gradually and followed up the Shoemaker road to Steele's, 
and so on easterly. When the original canal was built the south bank 
came within about eight feet of the old fort, and when the enlargement 
was made its south line took in nearly one half of the old Herkimer 
building. The property was then owned by Bethel Palmer, who sold 
it to the State. 

On account of the destruction of the records in 1843, we are able to 
give only the following list of supervisors of the town from its organi- 
zation to the present time : 

1791, Frederick Fox; 1793, Peter Smith; 1794, William Clapsaddle ; 179.5, Ludwick 
Campbell; 1797, George Rosecrantz; 1798, William Clapsaddle; 1801, George Rose- 
crantz; 1803, '17, '21, Christopher P. Bellinger; 1810, '19. Rudolph I. Shoemaker; 
1811, '14, 'Thomas Paine; 1815, Nicholas Casler; 1824, Jacob F. Christman; 1825, 
Robert Shoemaker; 1827, Daniel Dygert; 1830, George Fox; 1832, G. I. Stranahan ; 
1834, John Wightman; 1S3G, '48, John Shoemaker, jr. ; 1837, Elias Root ; 1840, Fred- 
erick Bellinger; 1842, John Golden ; 1844, George H. Fox; 1845, F. E. Spinner; 1846, 
John Strong ; 1850, Calvin A. Griffith; 1853, Joseph N. Wightman; 1855, Benjamin ' 
Carver; 1856, William Spoonenburgh ; 1857, Ezekiel Spencer; 1860, John Crist; 1861, 
Liberty L. Lowell; 1864, James M. Dygert ; 1865, James E Casey; 1866, Amos H. 
Prescott ; 1868, Alfred E. Brooks; 1870, J. B. Pel ton ; 1871, Sandford Getman ; 1872, 
Albert M. Ross; 1874, James Vickerman; 1875, Charles W. Smith; 1876, Hamlin B. 
Maben ; 1877, James M. Clough; 1878, '81, Albert M. Ross ; 1882, '84, C. S. Jepson; 
1885, Samuel T. Russell ; 1S86, '87, Addison Brill ; 1888, '89, H. D. Jennings ; 1890, '92, 
James Conkling. 

Among the prominent families of Germans who settled in this town 
long before the Revolutionary War was that of John Michael Edich. 1/ 
He had lot No. 33, which remained in the family many years. His 
grandson, Michael, was born there in 1734, and was a captain in the 
militia in the Revolution. 

To Jacob Folts was assigned lot No. 3, which is within the limits of 
the town of Frankfort. Lot No. 41 was assigned to Joseph Staring, 
and remained in the possession of his descendants until recent years. 
To Frederick Bellinger was assigned lot No. 35, which has also re- 


mained in tlie family more than a century; and others might be 
mentioned who have kept the homes of their ancestors through all the 
changes that have occurred since the first settlements in the valley. 

As giving not only a quaint description of book-keeping methods 
and lists of articles purchased in a country store in olden times, but 
also the names of many of the early settlers, the following will be of 
great interest ; it is taken from an old ledger in which were kept the 
accounts of James Van Home, one of the first general merchants in the 
town. The store was near the locks of the Inland Lock Navigation 
Company, which were directly north of the present canal locks at 
Fort Herkimer : 

1776, Jacob Weaber; 1789, Isaiah Wright; October 14, " to my horse twice to Steale's 
mill.s, 2s; one quart Cyder, Od; one schipple apples, 4s; one pound hog's fat, 2s; one 
Nip grog, 6d ; to the use of my Blacksmith tools from 20th to 30th December, 1797, 
wlien you run away — " 

Against Conrad Frank: 1774 — May 13, to 2 gallons rum, 28 6d; July, J pint rum, 
6d ; Oct. 1, qt rum, Is 4d ; Dec. 28, 1 quart old and 1 quart n rum, 3s; 1775 — April 
18, to 4 bowls toddy, 4s. ; June 24, 1 pint of wine, Is 6d ; July 13, to 1 qt of W. I. 
rum, Is 9d; Sept 18, 1 gal. of rum, 5s; Dec. 20, to IJ gall'n rum pr David Schuy- 
ler, 8s. ; May 15, to "Cash paid Dr. Jacob Petrie for 1 Glass of Bolsom Damalta and 
Bleeding, 5s ; " Aug. 20, " to sch of Wheat, 1 Quart W. I. Rum, 4s Gd ;" Nov., " to Cash 
p'd John Smith for 1 pint Rum when you was wounded, Is 6d." 

Against Christopher P. Yates: 1781 — ''Feb., to flourof 25 Schipples of Wheat which 
you took at Vanslikes Mill £C 5s; to 4 Bbls which the flour was in, a 3s, 12s; " 1785 
178G — " to 3 Wolf's Certificates del'd you when I was Supervisor, £3." 

Against Duncan McDougal : 1775 — Deo. 14, to 1 otter skin, 24s; 3 martin skins, 9s; 
1782— February, to 2 bowls grog, 3s; 1786— March 1, 2, 4, to 12 bowls toddy, 12s; 2 
slings, Is; 2 qts cider, Is; 3 meals victuals, 3s; to 1 bowl grog in June, 1776, — ; 1791 — 
June 10, to 1 dinner, Is, and horse-keeping, 2s 3d. 

Against John N. Castlear: 177C to 1786 — Account for rum and grog, £1 13s 8d. 

Against Henery Ilarkimer, sen.: 1778 — May, "to Liquor in Club at Election for 
Governor, 9s 4d ; 1779 — Nov., to 6 quarts Cyder for Nicholas, 3s." 

Against Col. Henery K. Van Rensselaer: 1779 — From the 26th Aug. to 26tli Sept., 
" to 33 Mugs Cyder," ISs 4d; Oct. 8, to 24 skipples winter apples, a Is 6d, £1 16s: to 
14 days 1 horse in pasture, 38 ; Nov. 19, to yarn for mittens, 2s; "to 21 mugs Cyder 
dinerent times 8s 9d ; " Dec. 20, " to 2 Bbls Cyder 24s ; 26th, 7i Mugs Cyder, 3s 

Against Conrad C. Folts: 1785 — Accounts amounting to £2 6s 3d. 

Against " George Weaber (my brother in law) : " 1784 — Here follows a long account 
in which appear 4 ells corduroy, 24s; 1 ell blue shalloon, 3s 6d ; 2 nips grog. Is; 3 
Knives & 3 forks at Robinsons, 3s; 1 gill brandy, etc. 


Against Thomas Folmers : 1775— Account for £1 16s 3d, nearly all ''Nips of 

Against Jest Schuyler: 1788 — July 17, to judgment before Squire Myers, 17s; 
1789 — Feb. I, to 2 nips grog. Is; 1 quart spirits, 2s Gd ; 1 quart cider, 6d ; 1791 — Feb. 
1, to 1 gill rum, Gd. 

Then follow similar accounts of Philip Gailoch, John Smitli, John 
Myers, Gershom Skinner, Simeon Barker, Henry Miller, Conrad P. 
Folts, Susanah Small, John S. Frank. George Groundhart, Jacob 
Christman, John Fox, and the following: 

Against Frederick Jno. Shoemaker: 1786— Dec. 18, "To 2 Gall N Rum, 12s"; 
1788— March 22, to 1 pint W. I. rum, 7id; July 20, 1 hat, 9s 9d ; Aug. 12, 1 lb. To- 
bacco, Is; Sept. 2, cash 8s; Oct. 14, 1 "Check Hhkf, 5s." 

Against Jost Dygert : 1789 — May 20, "I reed Cash for Judgment agt him in full 
of ray act to this date"; 1790 — To 1 warrant, Is; August 11, 3 nips grog, Is 6d ; 
179G — "To 1 peace warrant against Coll Rxhert Petry, Is Gd ; to breaking 1 glass 
Tumpler, 2s," etc. — amounting to 178 Gd. 

Against Jacob Woolhaver: 1788 — Nov. 10, to tobacco, Is 6d ; Deo. 10, 3 ells blue 
cloth, 19s 9d ; Dec. 12, to leather for 1 pair of shoes, 7s; 1 pair half soles. Is ; to sun- 
dries to the 1st Dec, 1788, 12s 5d. 

Then follow the accounts of Russell Furman, Peter S. Dygert, Henry 
P. Dygert, Phineas Allen, Nicholas Christman, Jost Folts, Thomas Bell, 
Abraham Woolhaver, James Forbush, Timothy Tuttle. The following 
items are charged to Rev. Abraham Rosecrants : 

1788— April 13, i lb. snuff, 3s; July 8, 3 ells Durant, 9s; 3 sticks twist, 2s 3d; July 
8, 1 J yd black lace, 5s S^d ; "2 skanes silk, 2s ; 1 lb. shott, Is "; i lb. powder, 2s Gd . 
i paper pins, 9d. 

Against James Catlin (Whitestown) : 1790 — Nov. 27, "to 4 Nips of Grog & Cy- 
der, 2s Gd; 2 Bowls Grog dancing with Smith, 2s." 

Against AVilliam Petry: 1788--Apl. 26, to 1 bowl sling, Is; "1 Qt Bowl you 
Broke, 2s ; Aug. 13, to 2 Gallons Tar, 6s ; 1 Nip Grog & 2 Gills rum, 9d ; Jany 8, to 
my horse to ride through the river, Is ; March 11, to cost you have to pay at your suit 
against Thomas Casaty in Apl 16, 3s 4id ; to cost at your suit against Adam Bearse, 
which may be seen in ray Records, page 45, 12s 3d ; to cost at the suit of Paltus Brae- 
tenbreacher against your father-in-law, in the first book, page 34, 2s; Oct 22, To use 
and keeping of ray purap augur, 3s." 

Then follow the accounts of John Andrews, Jost Hess, John Weaber, 
Fawcet Cox and Frederick Bellinger, the latter as follows: 

1788 — June 1, To IJ pints n rum. Is 2d ; 28, 1 nip grog, 6d; Dec. 2, to 1 qt u rum. 
Is Gd; 7th, 2 pair Indian shoes. Gs 8d; 1 nip grog, Gd. Mr. Bellinger's account is 
quite lengthy, and there are many more charges for "Nips of Grog," than any other 


one tiling. He is credited on account: "By riding 1 Hlid Rum from Schenectady, 
12s; by 8 days huing timber for my horse shed & 4^ days framing the same, £1 12s; 
five days carpenter work, and four days work making fraim for my kitchen, os per day." 

Next come the accounts of Catharine (George) Hilts, amounting to £3 6s 2id, 
"paid in Ginsang at different times''; Maria (Catharine) 0.x, Wesner Spoon, Elizabeth 
Small, Mary Small (wlio paid her account in spinning); John Bellinger, Jacob Bashorr 
(who paid his bill in leather for a "' slay tackling "); and Timothy Frank (who paid his 
bill in 1790 by one o.x at Xo and one ox at £4 10s). Frederick " Ohrendorph " is 
charged, among other things, with " Egg Punch, Is; 1 bearl for the use of beckel cap- 
page" [pickle cabbage?]. 

John Fox is charged with nips of grog, nips of Sangaree, nips of punch, a " pinker 
knife" he broke, "marrying his nigger," 4 suppers, etc. Mr. Fox's bill was paid as 
follows: "By playing the fittle, 12s; by one nip grog had in 1793, 6d ; by Jack, your 
nigger, playing for a company,'" etc. Christopher P. Fox is charged with snuff, tea, 
grog, rum, breaking a b6wl and one fife, and a part of his account was paid in work on 
the court-house in 1796. Conrad Segner Edward Walker, John Brusler, Christopher 
Ox, Adam Hartman, George Weaber, are next on the ledger. 

"Jost Harkimar " is charged with nips of sling, nips of grog, "Boals" of grog, 
wheat to be returned for "soing," "2 shots at 6d each," rum, cash, costs of suit, and 
other things, making a long account, which was paid in 1791 in sowing "Pease," oats, 
wheat, barley, serving warrants, moving wheat and "moing" wheat, and cash. 

Then comes the account against Rudolph Schomaker, who is charged with judgment 
before Squire Colbreath, 9s lid and cost. Is 9d ; 2 nips grog, 2 nips brandy grog, 
"cash at Stone Arabia in Fox's House (present Flagg & Ittick), Is"; " cost between 
you and your brother 2 years ago, 5s 6d "; 1 dinner. Is; 1 gill bitters. 6d ; "cost be- 
tween you and George Clabsattle, Is." The balance of the long account is " Nips of 
Grog," which was all paid in cash. 

John Petrie is charged in 1790 with "taking affadid in respect of Demsitts estate, 
Is." Andrew Dygert is charged with " Rum, pigtale tobacco, quart Cyder and lodg- 
ing " Next are the names of Joseph Cook, Conrad Kook, Henry A. Cramer, Nicholas 
N. Staring, George F. Helnier, Joseph Hines, Christian Drisselman, John Isdall, Peter 
Flagg, Adin Fancher, Nicholas Wollhaver, Samuel Robertson (who paid his bill in doc- 
toring), Gershom Reach, William Delaney, Samuel Pinker. Jacob Kunkabol. 

Robert Bee, says the merchant, "agreed with me for one year's work for £2,5, 
and Sept. 12 left me in the morning before 1 was out of bed." Next follows an ac- 
count against Herkimer county for work on the court-house, then the account of James 
Yule, who paid a part of his bill in surveying " Lott No. 14, in the third tract." Chris- 
topher Rube paid his bill of £10 15s 5d in bottoming chairs and weaving. Mrs. Hol- 
teger paid her bill in spinning flax. 

There is a wonderful amount of information in the old ledger, and as 
this was the first store in German Flats, the record bears an added in- 
terest. William Small and James Isdale were merchants at Fort Her- 
kimer at a later date. The first tavern kept there, as far as known, was 



by N. Aldridge, on the south side of the highway ; he also kept a store, 
and " shin-plasters " are in existence issued by him. Fort Herkimer 
was the central point for business for the surrounding country for many 
years, its situation on the canal of the Navigation Company giving it 
that prestige. The first blacksmith in the town, Jacob Phillips, located 
here, and James Campbell came a little later. Benjamin Fox was an 
early tailor, working at that trade in 1791, and later had a blacksmith 
shop near the church. The first harnessmaker mentioned is Jacob 
Bashorr, and the first shoemaker was Peter WoUever, while Dr. Sam- 
uel Robertson appeared in 1790 as the first physician. Frederick Bell- 
inger and Stephen Wright were carpenters. In 1792 Aaron Wood had 
a small tannery here, and the school was kept by Samuel Edwards and 
Pliilip Peter Cowder, before 1800. The little village continued to pros- 
per until the diversion of travel to the Mohawk turnpike along the north 
side of the river. This was the end of its prosperity, and the place 
gradually declined in its business enterprise, until it has reached its 
present condition. 

• 1. _r 


Resuming our account of 
the old Fort Herkimer church 
it must be stated that the 
corporate seal of the church 
adopted in 1796 gave it the 
name of " The Reformed Pro- 
testant Dutch Church of Ger- 
man Flats." Long previous 
to that, in the year 1753, 
Hans Dedrich Stelly and oth- 
ers deeded to Peter Remsen, 

for the support of their minister, lots 45, 46, and 47, on the flats. 
No records of membership in the church were kept during the early 
years of its history, but in the Synod of 18 12 an order was made that 
annual reports should thereafter be returned. The first regular preacher 
was probably a brother of Rev. Abraham Rosecrants, as his biogra- 
pher says he succeeded his brother in 1767. Rev. Abraham Rosecrants 
faithfully labored here from that year until 1794, a period of twenty- 
seven years. He was an educated and able man, and became connect- 




ed with the Herkimer family by marriage. He died at his residence 
on Fall Hill, in the present town of Little Falls, at the close of the last 

From 1794 to 1798 Rev. Fitch Romden, of Oneida, preached to the 
settlers occasionally, and in the latter year Rev. Mr. Pick, of Stone 
Arabia, was called to supply the pulpit, which he did until 1802, when 
Rev. John P. Spinner was called. Mr. Spinner ministered to these peo- 
ple for forty-six years. He emigrated from Germany in 1801, and 
landed in New York in May. He was educated in the gymnasium at 

Bishopslieim and the university at Mentz, and in 1789 was consecrated 
to the Roman Catholic church. His wife, Mary Magdale Fedelis Bru 
mante, a native of Loire, accompanied him to this country. Mr. Spin- 
ner was called to the Fort Herkimer church soon after his arrival in the 
country, and with the exception of a short period of teaching, contin- 
ued with it until 1848. Nor were his services confined to this par- 
ish, for he preached to congregations in Columbia, Warren, at the In- 
dian Castle, Manheim, Schuyler, and in some of the towns of adjoining 

f'tt-, [/H^-f^ 



counties, besides the church in Herkimer village. He was thoroughly 
educated and his sermons were often eloquent and masterly. Mr. Spin- 
ner died at his residence in Herkimer, May 27, 1848, aged eighty years. 
He was the father of Hon. Francis E. Spinner, the famous secretary of 
the United States treasury under President Lincoln, and the family is 
still represented in the county. ^ Mr. Spinner was succeeded in the pas- 
torate of the church by Rev. J. Stark, who came about four years after 
Mr. Spinner gave up the charge. Mr. Stark preached five years, when 
there followed a period of about four years during which there was 
no regular preacher, and in 1862 Mr. Stark returned, preached one 
year, and died in 1863. He was the last settled pastor of the once 
flourishing congregation. Since that time the pulpit has been supplied 
at intervals, among those preaching here being Revs. J. Petrie, J. J. 
Quick, Rev. Mr. Consaul, Rev. Mr. Todd, William Johns, of Little 
Falls, and others. 

The financial needs of the church were largely provided for by the 
rental of lands deeded in trust for that purpose, and as long as the orig- 
inal lessees lived there was no lack of means for the support of the gos- 
pel, no matter in what direction the necessary expense might be in- 
curred. In the time of Rev. Mr. Rosecrants, the rental of lands 
brought in a revenue of $400 annually, besides the large amounts usually 
raised by subscription. At the installation of the elders and deacons, 
on the 29th of January, 1796, by Rev. Charles A. Pick, he received for 
his services ;^4 i6sand 6s for spreading upon the book of minutes the 
ordination and installation, and at his next visit to this place he received 
£2. Rev. Mr. Spinner received a salary of $700 per annum, besides 
funds raised by subscription, which for a time was paid him, but as the 
collection of rentals after the death of Mr. Remsen was in a measure 
neglected, and the estate of the deceased was embarrassed by litigation, 
the revenues began to fall off, causing quite a deficiency in meeting the 
salary, so that in May, 1836, there was due Rev. Mr. Spinner for ser- 
vices rendered, $1,324.10, one half of which he proposed to donate to 
the church, provided he received the other half. The litigation in re- 
lation to the lands held in trust lasted for several years, until in 1851 an 

' For more extended notice of F. E. Spinner, see Biographical Chapter in later pages of this 


act of the Legislature was passed authorizing the consistory to sell a 
portion of the lands. Several sales were made under this act, and the 
money invested, the interest to be used for the same purpose as the 
rentals or incomes of leases. In 1870 an act was passed enabling the 
consistory to record all leases, papers, etc., belonging to the church. 
Thus the munificent gift of Nicholas Wolever, Hans Dedrich Stelly and 
others, dwindled down to a mere pittance in the space of one hundred 
and fifty-five years, and at present this is only a missionary field. 

After settlers first located at Fort Herkimer, they gradually extended 
southward over the hills until the head waters of Fulmer Creek were 
reached. In 1797 Seth Paine settled at what became known as Paine's 
Hollow, about three miles south of the river. He came from Windham 
county. Conn., and was thirteen days reaching Fort Herkimer. With 
him came his sister, his wife and eleven children, five of whom were 
sons. In the spring of X797 the Paines had five acres of timber cut 
down and they invited their German neighbors to a logging bee and 
the whole five acres were cleared for them in one day. In the summer 
of 1798 a saw-mill was built there, and not long afterward Mr. Paine 
built a grist-mill, thus saving further journeys to Little Falls or Van 
Hornesville. The settlement at Paine's Hollow grew and comprised at 
one time three saw-mills, the grist-mill, a fulling-mill, a store, tavern, a 
post-office and about two hundred inhabitants. The first post-office in 
the town was here and was called German Flats, with John Paine as 
postmaster. Otis Smith, who settled here at about the same time with 
the Paines, was the mail carrier between Little Falls and Little Lakes, 
now in the town of Warren, and stopped at Paine's Hollow once a week. 
This post-office was long ago discontinued for a period, but has been 
renewed in recent years. Nathan Swift is the present postmaster ; the 
post-office is now in Little Falls, just across the line, this hamlet being 
partly in that town. Very little business is now done at Paine's Hol- 

The vicinity of what has been known as Dennison's Corners, on the 
southern line of the town, was first settled by Benjamin Whitman (now 
spelled and pronounced Wightman). He came from Connecticut and 
was a Baptist minister. A tavern was kept very early at this point 
by Stutely Palmer, and Asahel Wise came from Vermont and built 


an ashery ; Henry Raster also had one. The settlement was at first 
known as Whitmantown, until Stanton Dennison settled there and 
purchased a tract of 640 acres. The hamlet grew to considerable im- 
portance and a post-office was established with Charles Whitman as 
postmaster in 1847. The first store was kept by John I. Christman. 
Among other early settlers at this point were Henry Steele, a black- 
smith, Joseph Noble, and the Freeman, Tisdale, Thomas, and Hawks 
families, all from Connecticut. In 1834 Mr. Dennison "built a church, 
which is still standing and used at intervals by the Methodists. In 1847 
Charles Whitman donated the lot and school- house to the district. 

About the year 1800 Jason Tiff settled at the mouth of Trout Creek, 
two and a half miles up Fulmer Creek from Mohawk, and there built a 
saw-mill, carding and cloth-mill, and a grist-mill. A little hamlet 
gathered there, but long since lost its identity. 

After the War of 18 12 this town, like most others in the county, 
rapidly filled up. The farmers found good markets for their crops, and 
general prosperity reigned. The opening of the Erie Canal, while in 
some respects an advantage to the people, was in other ways a disad- 
vantage. It brought into competition with the Mohawk farmers those 
of the Genesee country, as it was called, where grain could be raised 
cheaper than here, and inaugur.ited an era of hard times in the agri- 
cultural districts; a competition which, in connection with that 
developed later by the far west, led 10 the introduction of dairying. 
The building of the Utica and Schenectady Railroad and its conse- 
quences have already been described. The road was a great financial 
success, a fact which led to the projection of other lines in various 
directions. One of these was the Mohawk Valley Railroad Company, 
which was organized in 1850, with A. C. Flagg as president, and F. E. 
Spinner, secretary. Books were opened and the following commis- 
sioners appointed from Herkimer county to receive subscriptions to the 
stock : Benjamin Carver, F. E. Spinner, and Eliphalet Remington. E. 
H. Broadhead was appointed chief engineer and his report was made in 
1851. Without following the route proposed in detail it may be said 
that it was to extend along the south side of the river, one line being 
proposed on the north bank of the canal and one on the south, the 
latter passing through the villages of Mohawk, Ilion and Frankfort. 
The road was never built. 


The New York, Utica and Ogdensburgh Railroad, which also contem- 
plated further connections in this county and town, was projected in New 
York, and one link in its line was from Utica to Cooperstown. A sur- 
vey was made from Utica to Mohawk and up the valley of Fulmer 
Creek to the town line of Stark. In aid of this undertaking the town of 
German Flats was bonded in 1872 for $160,000. The road was begun, 
the town authorities by arrangement paying out of its bonds as fast as 
grading progressed. The result was that about four miles were graded 
and the town had invested $32,000 when the work stopped and was 
never resumed ; the remainder of the bonds was canceled. 

A much more satisfactory project in its results was the building of the 
Mohawk and liion Street Railroad, the company for which was organized 
in April, 1870. John F. Hosch was the first president; J. E. Casey, 
vice-president ; Jacob Devendorf, treasurer ; S. F. Wilcox, secretary. 
The road was finished in September, 1870. The capital stock was 
$15,000, and the village of Mohawk was bonded for $10,000 towards 
the work ; these bonds were retired a year later and the town stock 
sold. The road has always been a paying investment and is admirably 

A similar enterprise, which has been of great public benefit, is the 
Herkimer and Mohawk Street Railroad, the company for which was 
organized early in 1871, with a capital stock of $20,000. The road 
was built connecting Herkimer and Mohawk villages, and was in opera- 
tion in September, 1871. This road has also paid its projectors 

The history of this town in recent years is further told in the suc- 
ceeding accounts of Mohawk and Ilion villages, the latter being the 
largest manufacturing center in Herkimer county, excepting Little 
Falls. The prosperity of Ilion is reflected to some extent throughout 
the town, and especially to the village of Mohawk. The dairying in- 
dustry in the town is prosperous and extensive, the market being 
largely at Little Falls. 


The site of this village was first settled by the Palatines, who drew the 
lots upon which it is situated, as seen in the table in Chapter II, and the 


diagram, page 38. The site of the village is picturesque. It is on the 
north side of the town near the center, on the south side of the Erie 
canal, and on Fulmer Creek about half a mile above its confluence with 
the Mohawk River. Among its inhabitants previous to the Revolution- 
ary War were very few except the Germans and their families ; but with 
the close of the war, and to a limited extent previous to that time, set- 
tlers came in rapidly from Connecticut and adjoining Eastern States. 

The first tavern within the limits of the village was built by Judge 
Gates in 1778, and is still standing in the western part of the village. 
He occupied it a few years and sold it to one of the Petrie family and 
he to Rudolph Devendorf in 1804, and he to David Diefendorf, 1 who 
in 1817 opened what was called a "Dutch tavern," which he kept until 
1842, when it was converted into a dwelling; it is now owned and oc- 
cupied by Jacob Diefendorf, son of David, who has lived in it since 1817. 
So well was it built that it is to day in excellent condition. It is thought 
to be the oldest building in the village. In 18 17 there was not more than 
two dwelling-houses on the north side of Main street between this house 
and the site of the canal bridge east of the village, and the whole 
tract was covered with a grove of hickory trees. There were two 
or three barns, one of which stood on the site of the Mohawk Valley 
Hotel. The next tavern in the place was kept by Josiah Earl. In 1800 
Peter Helmer built a tavern on a site just south of the old Mohawk House, 
which was kept for many years by Jedediah Fox. In 1826 John Ben- 
nett purchased the old tavern which stands near the present Mohawk 
House, and built a storehouse on the then recently opened canal. The 
opening of this great water-way was of supreme importance to this vil- 
lage and contributed largely to its early growth ; a growth that was lat- 
er much retarded by the building of the Utica and Schenectady Railroad 
on ihe opposite side of the river. The place was early known as " Ben- 
nett's Corners," but after about a dozen years, was given its present more 
appropriate title. In 1825 Chester Tisdale built the American Hotel, on 
the site of the present Mohawk Valley Hotel. The old brick hotel east 
of the village was built in 1830 by Christopher Bellinger for Daniel Dy- 
gert and L. Doolittle ; but it long ago fell into disuse as a public house. 

1 Although these two Diefendorfs were brothers, they spelled their names as given, 


The present Mohawk House, corner of Main and Columbia streets, was 
built by Briggs Thomas in 1835. 

The first building for a private residence was erected by Peleg Free- 
man in 1778 ; the site is now occupied by the residence of Mrs. B. A. 
Johnson, south side of Main street, west of Fulmer Creek. Robert Shoe- 
maker's mother built the house where David Spencer now lives, in the 
west part of the village. The Wheeler house, just east of the creek on 
Main street, was built by Peter Warner in 1790; it is now owned by 
Mrs. Presley. In 1800 Frederick Starling built a house on the site now 
occupied by the residence of Thomas Cunningham. It was burned not 
long afterward, and another erected, which finally gave place to the pres- 
ent brick house. The old gambrel-roofed house that stood on the site 
of the present residence of H. 1). Alexander, was built by Rufus Ran- 
dall about 1790. 

Manufactures and Mercantile. — The very early mills on Fulmer 
Creek have already been described. In about the year 1808 Reuben 
Randall built a grist-mill on this creek at the south end of Columbia 
street, which was used until recent years ; and about the same time Asa 
Dennison built a tannery on the creek in the west part of the village on 
the south side of Main street, which has been remodeled into dwellings. 
In 1 813 Rudolph Devendorf built a grist and saw-mill on the'south side 
of the road on the creek in the west part of the village; and about the 
same time Solomon Ford erected a saw-mill a little farther up the creek, 
and a Mr. Warner had a small tannery near Devendorf's mills. All of 
these have disappeared. There was also a saw-mill near the site of the 
lower locks. 

The first blacksmith in the village was named Crane and he was suc- 
ceeded by Adam Starling. The shop, which was built probably as early 
as 1808, stood about where Dr. Van Court's store now is. In 1830 
Norton & Myers had a blacksmith shop near the site where Thos. Cun- 
ningham's store is now. From 1 800 to 1820 a plow factory was on the 
corner of Main and Columbia streets where the Ouackenbush block now 
stands. This was for many years the only manufactory of agricultural 
implements in this part of the county. 

The Mohawk Foundry was established in 1843 by the late Chaun- 
cey Johnson. The building first erected is still standing on the 


south side of the canal at the corner of Warren and Johnson streets. 
Another building was afterwards erected of brick, the first one being of 
stone. Stoves, agricultural implements, iron fence, etc., were produced 
here. After the death of Mr. Johnson his sons conducted the business 
for a time, but it is now stopped. 

The Mohawk Manufacturing Works were established for the manufac- 
ture of a new and improved revolver. The company consisted of H. 
D. Alexander, J. B. Rafter, J. F. Hosch, J. N. Quackenbush, C. Beck- 
with and J. D. Miller. In August, 1878, the company was dissolved. 

The Mohawk Valley Hotel Company was organized December 17, 
1874, with a capital of $50,000. The company purchased the old 
American Hotel property, including Varley Hall and the house and lot 
next north of it on Otsego street, and there erected a handsome four- 
story hotel. The total cost of the new property was about $75,000. 
While this house has been of benefit to the place, it has not paid the 
stockholders financially. 

The Mohawk Valley Knitting Mills is one of the later manufacturing 
establishments of Mohawk that are aiding in building up the place. It 
was incorporated March 17, 1887, with a cash paid-up capital of $50,- 
000. About 250 hands are employed and 80,000 dozen knit underwear 
manufactured annually. The officers of the company are H. D. Alex- 
ander, president and treasurer; J. B. Rafter, secretary; B. A. Stone, 
vice-president; Smith Ostrander, superintendent. 

The Knitting Company of Mohawk, limited, was incorporated Oc- 
tober 27, 1890, with a cash paid-up capital of $50,000, and manufac- 
tures similar goods to those made by the Mohawk Valley Company. 
About 175 hands are employed, and Smith Ostrander is superintendent. 
The officers are : B. A. Stone, president ; J. B. Rafter, secretary ; H. 
D. Alexander, treasurer; H. G. Munger, vice-president. 

The Broomhall Milling and Malting Company was organized in 
March, 1891, with the following officers: A. D. Morgan, president; L. 
G. Young, vice-president; I. W. Steele, treasurer; C. C. Steele, secre- 
tary. Charles Young is manager. The capital is $15,000, paid up. 

One of the early merchants of Mohawk was Samuel Meeker, who 
carried on business where Mr. Lovejoy now has a hotel, on Columbia 
Street. Mr. Meeker was noted for his fine garden. In 1809 Rudolph 



Devendorf opened a store on the corner of Main and Warren streets, 
where for many years business was carried on by various merchants, 
among them Solomon Clough, Henry S. Diefendorf, Peter I. Miller, 
D. S. Clark, and James Campbell. The store on the post office corner 
was built in 1836 by Elias and Humphrey G. Root. The whole 
block from the Kirley block to the post-office corner and running back 
nearly to the canal, was purchased in the spring of 1826 by Elias Ran- 
dall for $175. The Steele block, corner of Main and Otsego streets, was 
built by John A. Steele in 1852, and the Spinner block, opposite corner 
of Main and Otsego streets, was erected in 1844 by F. E. Spinner. The 
opening of the canal witnessed the erection of several warehouses, for 
storage and forvvarding, among them being the building now occupied 
by J. W. Devendorf; this was the first one, built in 1826, and others 
were built by H. G. Root & Co., James Campbell, Isaac Woodworth, 
and Merry & Devendorf 

The first brick house erected in the village was the one in which Mrs. 
Still well lived, and here she died in 1892. It was biiilt by Josiah Os- 
good and rebuilt by Elias Root. 

The first resident physician was Dr. A. W. Bowen, who came here in 
1828. The first postmaster was Samuel Miner, and the first mail car- 
rier was a Mr. Luke, who traveled on horseback between Utica and 
Schenectady. The mail was delivered once each week, if the weather 
and roads would permit. 

The land on which the village stands was owned b)' Rufus Randall, 
who, after disposing of one or two farms, sold the remainder to Frederick 
Bellinger, -who had it surveyed into village lots. The village was incorpo- 
rated by act of Legislature passed April 16, 1844, and the first election 
for village officers was held at the house of John Golden May 4, 1844, 
when the following officers were chosen : 

President, Frederick Bellinger; assessors, Gordon Farmer and Ezekiel 
Spencer ; treasurer, Elias Root ; clerk, Daniel S. Clark ; collector, Marks 
H. Grants ; constable, Marks H. Grants. The proceedings of the first 
charter election were signed by Frederick Starling, as chairman, and 
John Crist as town clerk. 

At a meeting of the board of trustees held May 9, 1844, the follow- 
ing named persons were granted each a tavern license, paying for it $5 : 


Devendorf opened a store on the corner of Main and Warren streets, 
where fm !ii ,h\' \ ears business was carried on by various merchants, 
among mon Clough, Henry S. Diefendorf, Peter I. Miller, 

D. S. Ci.>..v. o,.o james Campbell. The store on the post-office corner 
was built in 1836 by Elias and Humphrey G. Root. The whole 

block from the Kirley block to the post- '• ■ "--^ r : -ning back 

nearly to the canal, was purchased in th ias Ran- 

■Jallfor $175. The Steele block, ci'iv utsego streets, was 

Liuilt by John A. Steele in 1852, ai ick, opposite corner 

of Main and Otsego streets, was ei F. E. Spinner. The 

opening of the canal witnessed th - rai warehouses, for 

storage and forwarding, among t; Iding now occupied 

by J. W. Devendorf; this was thf n 1826, and others 

were built by H. G. Root & ' Campbell, Isaac Woodwoi i 

and Merry & Devendorf. 

The first brick house erectt c one in which Mrs. 

Stillwelllived, and here si: _ biiilt by Josiah O'^- 

good and rebuilt by Eli; 

The first resident ph} ^" »n, who came here m 

1828. The first postm:' d the first mail car- 

rier was a Mr. Luke, who n '■ - > i: on n^rs' u.ici: between Utica and 
Schenectady. The mail was delivered once each week, if the weather 
and roads would permit. 

The land on which the villape stands was owned by Rufus 
who, after disposinr 'le remainder to Frederick 

Bellinger, who had , The village was incorpo- 

rated by act of Legislature passed .rv^.ni io, 1844, and the first election 
for village officers was held n.t the house of John Golden May 4,. 1844, 
wlien the following office 

''^resident, Frederick Bi ,. idEzekiel 

r ; treasurer, Elias Root ; clerk, Daniel S. Clark ; collector, Mar 
"'i ■ constable, Marks ll '.mnfs The proceedings of the fii... 
ion were signed arling, as chairman, and 

board of trustees held May 9, 1 844, the foil' 
ing nanieu persoi:- i ted each a tavern licens: for it ^5 : 

Town of German flats. 19o 

Newman Smith, Olendorf & Lawyer, Charles Bronson and George L. 
Van Slyke; and grocery licenses were granted on the same terms to L. 
L. Merry and Cornelius Devendorf. 

The Mohawk Valley Bank was organized February 9, 1839, by the 
election of the following officers : Directors, David Devendorf, Fred- 
erick Bellinger, Alanson Maxon, Elias Root, Ira Randall, Jacob F. 
Cristman, Ebenezer Morgan, Stephen Jones, William Burgess, E. A. 
Munson, Charles Wightman, Peter H. Warren, H. S. Orendorf, J. I. 
Cristman, R. G. Starkweather, Rodney Sanford, L. Stienburgh, Ephraim 
Tisdale, Jacob Marshall, and Jesse C. Dann. "Ebenezer Morgan was 
chosen president, and in May, 1839, J. C. Dann was chosen cashier, and 
in June, Eiias Root was elected vice-president. The successive presi- 
dents of the bank have been as follows: After Mr. Morgan, Charles 
Wightman, elected February 9, 1841 ; Benjamin Carver, July 2, 1849; 
Peter H. Warren, July 2, 1855 ; John J. Cristman, July, 1857 ; F. E. 
Spinner, July 5, 1858; Peter H. Warren, July, 1861 ; Dean Burgess, 
July, 1864; Eli Fox, January, 1882; Jacob Devendorf, January, 1 891. 
On the 3d of April, 1865, the bank was reorganized and its name 
changed to the National Mohawk Valley Bank, and the officers re- 
mained as before until September 3, 1867, when H. D. Alexander was 
elected cashier and has filled the office until the present time. The 
present officers of the bank are as follows: President, Jacob Deven- 
dorf; directors, the president, H. D. Alexander, Allen Bloomfield, B. 
A. Weatherby, Thomas D. Warren, R. M. Devendorf, B. A. Stone, 
John Giblin, H. A. Deimel, O. W. Bronson, and De Witt E. Allen. 
The capital of the bank is $150,000; surplus and undivided profits, 
$40,000; deposits about $220,000. In 1892 the institution erected a 
handsome and convenient bank building on Main street at a cost ol 

The Mohawk Gaslight Company was organized October 3, i860, 
with a capital of $10,000. President, Chauncey Johnson ; secretary, 
Eli Fox; treasurer, R. H. Pomeroy. At a later date the company was 
consolidated with the works at llion, a new company formed called 
the llion and Mohawk Gaslight Company, and the capital stock in- 
creased to $30,000. After the consolidation the works were located 
about half a mile east of llion and both villages supplied with gas. 
Mohawk is now lighted with electricity by the same company. 


Public School. — Very little is known of the schools of Mohawk in 
early years. The destruction of the records of German Flats in 1843 
renders it impossible to learn details previous to that year, excepting 
through the memory of old residents. It is known that early in the 
present century there was a school-house on the east side of wliat is 
now Columbia street, near the site of the residence of H. G. Root, and 
the contract for the erection of the building is still in existence. The 
building was put up by Russel Brown, " at or near Timothy Campbell's 
house in German Flats." The building cost $260. The contract was 
signed on the part of the authorities by Russel Brown, Abrani Randal, 
Rufus Randal, jr., James L. Campbell, and Rudolph Devendorf 

This old school-house was abandoned after the erection of the present 
school building about 1853, and finally passed to the Methodist society. 
It is still standing and used for a carpenter shop. When the present 
building was erected a graded school was established and it so con- 
tinues. W. E. Stearns is the present principal, and under him six 
teachers are employed. A new school building is to be erected during 
1892-3, at a cost of $17,000. 

Fire Department. — The fire department of Mohawk was organized 
September 9, 1844, by the village trustees who appointed Humphrey 
G, Root as chief engineer ; Gordon Farmer, assistant, with twenty-four 
members. The company was named Mohawk Engine Company No. 
I. The engine used was made at Waterford, and it was kept in a house 
on the corner of Main and North Washington streets. In May, 1861, 
the trustees purchased a more powerful engine at Seneca Falls, and in 
June of that year a new company named Colonel Ellsworth Engine 
Company No. 2, was organized. In 1869 this company was disbanded 
and from that date until 1878 the engine was in charge of citizens, un- 
der direction of the trustees. In March, 1878, a company was formed 
for the hand engine, composed of forty- eight men, and this organization 
is still kept up. 

A special election was held June 7, 1875, at which it was voted that 
the village should purchase a steam fire engine. This was done and 
the name Mohawk Chief given to the new engine. At the same time 
Alexander Hose Company No. I was organized with the following 
officers: President, A. C. Devendorf; vice-president, A. G. Myers; 


secretary, W. H. Schall ; treasurer, John McChesney ; foreman, E. L. 
Prince. This organization is still in existence. The fire department 
as at present organized and equipped, is one of the best in the county. 

There is at present only one newspaper in Mohawk, which was 
started by Rich & Tucker in 1874, as the Mo/iawk Independent. It 
was subsequently sold to A. A. Miller, who was succeeded as owner by 
W. E. Churchill, and by C. A. White, who sold the establishment to 
Miss Clara E. Morgan in January, 1892. The name of the paper was 
then changed to The Eagle. The paper is ably edited by Miss Morgan 
and is liberally supported. 

The Reformed Church. — This society was organized December 11, 
1838, when Christopher Bellinger, and Samuel Meeker were elected 
elders, and Samuel Barringer and Henry Harter, deacons. Shortly 
afterwards the lot on which the church stands was donated to the so- 
ciety by Frederick Bellinger. Through the influence and substantial aid 
of Elias Root and H. G. Root, the church building was soon erected. 
The pulpit was first occupied by Rev. James Murphy, of Herkimer, as 
supply. February i, 1844, Rev. Jedediah L. Stark was called to the 
church, and he was installed May 3, 1844; he continued for ten years, 
since which time the following pastors have served the society : 

Rev. Elbert Slingerland, 1854; Rev. John M. Hammond, 1856; Rev. 
Charles D. Nott, 1859; Rev. E. Slingerland, 1865, one year; Rev. G. D. 
Consaul, 1867; Rev. F. F. Wilson, 1870; Rev. F. M. Bogardus, 1872 ; 
Rev. J. G. Lansing, 1876; Rev. John Brandow, and Rev. A. D. Minor, 
who was succeeded in May, 1892, by Rev. Ira Van Allen. The church 
membership is about 115, and the following are the officers: Elders, 
Byron A. Stone, Thomas Cunningham, Robert Myers ; deacons, Jasper 
Morgan, Truman Snell, Dr. Rasbach. 

The Baptist Church. — The first Baptist society of Mohawk was or- 
ganized February 9, 1841, and the church was erected in 1845 and ded- 
icated January i, 1846. For a number of years the church was fairly 
prosperous, but later it has greatly declined. Among the pastors have 
been Revs. J. Benedict, the first, N. Loring, J. W. Crumb, L. Casler, 
O. Adams, Lamar W. Hayhurst, G. W. Harvey, and Rev, Mr. Broddie, 
who remained until 1861. There is now no settled pastor over the 
church and no regular services. 


The Methodist Chiurh. — The date of the formation of the first Metho- 
dist class in Mohawk is not known, but it was very early, and it was for 
some years connected with the class at Herkimer. In 185 1 Rev. I. 
Hunt was permitted by the Reformed church society to occupy their 
church Sabbath afternoons, and he was followed by Rev. Mr. Barnard. 
Later Rev. Joseph Lamb preached in the Baptist church which was 
leased for the purpose. The old school-house on Columbia street was 
finally purchased, its use donated to the society, and it was fitted 
for services. This was afterwards sold and the society again used the 
Baptist church. After years of alternate periods of success and de- 
spondency, a revival held here in the winter of 1867—8 by the praying 
band connected with the Ilion church quickened the feeble society, and 
in the spring of 1869 Rev. Olin Wightman became the pastor, and the 
Methodist Episcopal church of Mohawk was organized. After using 
the Baptist and Universalist churches for a time, the present handsome 
church was erected, chiefly through the liberality of Philo and Elizabeth 
Remington. The membership is about lOO and Rev. Mr. Fitch is 

The Universalist Church. — This society was organized in 1850, and 
the brick church was erected and dedicated in February, 1852. The 
means to this end were contributed largely by subscription. The first 
pastor was Rev. B. B. Hallock, who was succeeded in 1857 by Rev. 
Dolphus Skinner. Others who have served the church are Revs. L. C. 
Brown, J. R. Sage, L. L. Briggs, A. A. Thayer, F. S. Brown, and D. 
Ballou. For the past several years there has been no regular preach- 
ing in the church. Rev. T. C. Fisher, of Herkimer, preaches afternoons 
at the present time. 

Grace Episcopal Church. — This society was organized in 1854, and 
the church erected at the same time. Previous to that time services 
had been held for several years in the public hall. The church was 
erected with funds subscribed and was paid for in full. The first rector 
was Rev. William Bogart Walker, who was followed by Rev. E. C. Ed- 
munds. Rev. S. M. Griswold then preached for a time, coming from 
Ilion, and was succeeded by Rev. Charles E. Freeman and Rev. M. O. 
Smith. Rev. Alfred Taylor preached in 1890. The church is now 
without a rector. 


The present postmaster of Mohawk is Thomas Cunningham, who 
took the office in November, 1889, succeeding D. D. Morgan. An- 
other post-office in the town is Edick, in the southwest part, with 
John Shoemaker as postmaster, he having held the office about four 
years and since it was estabhshed. 

The present officers of Mohawk village are : President, Charles 
Tucker ; trustees, Jeremiah Warner, Charles Young, F. H. Sales, A. 
H. Day ; clerk, Charles Young ; chief engineer, C. J. Thrall. 


There was nothing meriting the name of a village on the site of Ilion 
until after the completion of the Erie Canal, yet there was a store there 
as early as 18 16, and perhaps earlier, a fact which is attested by shin- 
plasters of Thomas Gillespie & Son of that date. In early years the. 
western part of the present corporation was called " London." After 
the construction of the canal the locality was known as Morgan's Land- 
ing, while on the canal list it was called Steele's Creek. 

The following interesting and comprehensive account of the place 
was written by William Hibbard Page in 1874: 

On the 1st day of January, in the year 1828, Eliphalet Remington purchased one 
hundred acres of land of John A. Clapsaddle, in part the site of the present village of 
Ilion, being that portion bounded on the west by Otsego street. The canal had been in 
operation about three years, but the settlement could only boast of seven dwellings, 
two storehouses and a school-house. The river road (Main street) came down from 
Frankfort as it does now, but near the residence of Mr. Albert Baker it crossed the 
canal on a bridge, which was torn away when the canal was enlarged; passing down 
on the north side, it recrossed to the south side of the canal a .short distance below the 
gas works. One of the principal dwellings was the old Clapsaddle farm house, which 
stood on the premises now occupied by the bank block and the adjacent armory build- 
ings. Here Mr. Clapsaddle had lived many years, and we are reliably informed that 
he was born and brought up in this vicinity. Where Small's Hotel now is there stood 
a building, in the front part of which was the "corner grocery," kept by a man named 
Gary. Here all the business of the Corners was transacted, temporally and spiritually. 
Groceries, dry goods, etc., and intoxicating liquors made up the stock in trade. Daniel 
Dygert, father of our townsman, J. M. Dygert, occupied a portion of the same build- 
ing as a dwelling. Just west of this, and where the last named gentleman now lives, 
was the residence of his uncle, Dennis Dygert. This gentleman owned a storehouse, 
which stood where Hotahng's block now is. On the site of Long's Hotel (now occu- 
pied by the Coleman carriage and wagon factory) was the farm house of Selden Mor- 


gan, who also owned a storehouse near where the steam mill now stands. Still farther 
west and near the creek, was the residence of Adam Steele. The school-house was lo- 
cated on the site of Long's barn, near the old feeder, but was afterward moved to 
about lialf way between Dennis Dygert's storehouse and the bridge first mentioned. 
Opposite this bridge, and close to the towpath, was the "'Seth Curtis House," occupied 
by Mr. Lawrence Helmer, which is still standing, and is distinguished as the old brown 
tenement, third building east of the Agricultural Works ; farther to the east was the 
residence of Esquire Helmer. This property was afterwards bought of Mr. Barter by 
William Jinks, inventor of the Jinks carbine, who erected a new dwelling in the place 
of the old one ; and later it passed into the hands of Esquire Rasbach, by whose family 
it is now occupied. Such was Ilion in 1831 ; and these eight families consisted of less 
than forty persons. From 1830 to 1843 the settlement was called Remington's Cor- 
ners by the residents, and generally known as such by the inhabitants of the surround- 
ing country. On the canal list, however, it was designated as Steele's Creek, probably 
after the stream of water which now flows through the center of the village, and which 
took its name from the fact that Mr. Steele had lived for many years where the creek 
passes under the canal. During all this time there was no post-office at this point, and 
the villagers received their mail through the office at Mohawk and others in the im- 
mediate vicinity. This was a source of great annoyance to them, as it was very incon- 
venient to go or send from two to ten miles to get letters and papers which might be 
brought almost to their very doors. In 1843 the place had materially increased in size 
and population, and had become a point of considerable interest. The manufacture of 
fire-arms was then in its infancy ; indeed, Mr. Remington's principal business was the 
manufacture of gun barrels, which were sold to gunsmiths and to large manufacturing 
houses in distant cities. At this time the necessity for a post-office had correspond- 
ingly increased with the prosperity of the Corners, and became the principal topic of 
conversation in the stores, shops, and firesides as well. But to get an office there must 
be a name by which to call it. As many as thirty different names were proposed. 
This was at a time when villages were being named after the most prominent states- 
men of the nation, and as there cannot be two post-offices of the same name in any 
single State, nearly all the propositions were dropped and the people of the Corners 
settled upon two names, Vulcan and Fountain, under one of which they resolved an 
office should be established. Finally a general meeting of the citizens was called to 
express their views, and to decide by vote which of the two it should be. This meet- 
ing was held in one of the stores. The result of the vote as announced was that the 
friends of Fountain outnumbered the Vulcanites nine to one. These were the days of 
" Tippecanoe and Tyler too ! " On the death of William Henry Harrison, John Tyler 
succeeded to the presidency, and under his administration A. G. Wicliffe was post- 
master-general. From 1840 to 1844 Hon. L. L. Merry was postmaster at Mohawk, 
and he used to send the mail to the Corners tied up in a handkerchief ; frequently there 
being no more of it than he could hold in one hand. Mr. Benton, of Mohawk, 
familiarly known as Charley Benton, was member of Congress from this district, and 
the petition for the new office was placed in his hands. Another petition, from Mr. 
Merry and the postmasters at Herkimer and Frankfort, was also handed to Mr. Ben. 






ton, but was not presented to the department, as Mr. Wicliffe readily granted the office 
on the petition of the citizens. The friends of Fountain were not entirely satisfied 
with their choice, although they consented to adopt the name for the want of something 
better. It had been suggested that the place be named after Mr. Remington, but that 
gentleman modestly declined the honor. Mr. Benton, however, was so much in favor 
of the suggestion that after consulting with General Spinner, then cashier of the Mo- 
hawk Valley Bank, and Humphrey G. Root, by their advice he concluded to change 
the name, on presenting the petition, which he did accordingly. So this village was 
called Remington by authority of the government, and one of its most highly esteemed 
citizens, David D. Devoe, was appointed to be postmaster. As might be supposed, the 
people were greatly surprised when the papers were received informing them of the 
change, but they were apparently satisfied. Mr. Remington was displeased. In due 
time the department sent on a contract for a weekly mail from Mohawk at twelve dol- 
lars a year ; a mail but once a week was hardly better than under the old system, and 
a contract at twelve dollars a year nobody would take. For the sake of form, how- 
ever, and to comply with the requirements of the department, David Harrington was 
induced to accept it, and the contract was accordingly returned to Washington. This 
arrangement not being satisfactory to the postmaster or the citizens, Mr. Devoe made 
a private contract with a Mr. Roarbach to let his (Roarbach's) boy get a daily mail 
from Mohawk ; and it was agreed that in time of unpleasant and stormy weather 
the official should go after the mail himself. The price of the contract was fifty -six 
dollars. This sum was the amount allowed by the department, less forty-four dollars, 
which Mr. Devoe paid out of his own pocket. The office was opened in the store 
where 0. B. Rudd's jewelry store is now located, and it was fitted up with a case of 
boxes and other fixtures necessary to make it convenient by Mr. Devoe. These cir- 
cumstances are mentioned simplj' to show how much interest was felt by our first post- 
master in the success of his administration, as well as personal expenses incurred by 
him in supplying Remington with a daily mail, facts not generally known to our citi- 
zens. So great was Mr. Remington's displeasure at the name of the new post-office 
that he refused to date his letters at Remington, but dated them at German Flats; con- 
sequently answers to his correspondence were sent to German Flats post-office, nine 
miles away up in Paine's Hollow. As a further inconvenience, letters addressed 
to this place would be sent to Bennington, Vt., Perrinton, N. J., Bennington, N. Y., 
and another place of similar name in Pennsylvania; so also would letters intended for 
those places reach this office, occasioned, of course, by illegible superscription. These cir- 
cumstances finally became a source of such great annoyance that the people murmured. 
About a year after the establishment of the office Messrs. Remington and Devoe be- 
came satisfied that a change was very much needed. Considerable time was spent by 
them in searching for an Indian name for some point in close proximity to Remington, 
but without effect. Failing to find a name which he would be willing to forward on 
his own responsibility to the department for confirmation, Mr. Remington asked his 
friend to suggest one, and Mr. Devoe named Ilion, which he had proposed at the be- 
ginning. At that time there was one other office of this name in the United States, 
located in Tipton county, Tenn., but it has since been discontinued. On that account, 


but chiefly because he had been favorably impressed with it in reading Homer's Iliad, 
did Postmaster Devoe urge the name of Ilion. Mr. Remington was pleased with it, 
but there was one objection ; he thought that there was somewhat of vanity in taking 
the name of so important a city as ancient Troy to bestow on such a small and unpre- 
tending place as was proposed. Concluding that none could be found that would give 
better ."sati-sfaction, these gentlemen sent their petition to Washington, and the name of 
Ilion was substituted for Remington, without consulting the citizens, which would 
doubtless have caused delay, and perhaps defeated the object in view. So the stone 
which the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner. 

The village was incorporated in 1852, and the first officers were as 
follow: Trustees, John A. Rasbach, John Harrington, Conrad Folts, 
Piiineas Gates, and Samuel Underwood ; assessors, Jacob Getman, 
Lawrence Helmer, William J. Lewis; clerk, Eliphalet Remington, jr. ; 
treasurer, William O. Barnes ; collector, William Breadon ; pound- 
master, Abraham Fish. In 1866 by legislative act the charter was 
changed in important matters, making the term of office of the trustees 
five years, and providing for the election of one only each year. In 
1870 the population had reached 2,876, and in 1875 it was a little more 
than 4,000 ; it is now nearly 5,000. 

The fire department was organized in 1863. R. R. Bennet was the 
first chief engineer, and Alfred E. Brooks and William Kitzmiller, first 
and second assistants. The present chief engineer is M. M. Kane. The 
Armory Hose Company was organized in 1863 and was composed 
wholly of employees in the Remington factories, and chiefly for the 
protection of those works, the water being taken from pumps. This 
organization continued until 1870, when the corporation purchased for 
it a hand engine. The company was then divided, a part retaining the 
former name and the others assuming the name of Excelsior Fire Com- 
pany No. 2, and persons outside of the Remington works were admitted 
to membership. A. H. Sumner was the first foreman of Excelsior 
Company, and John Irlam and Smith C. Harter, first and second as- 

Ilion Steamer and Hose No. i was organized in 1863, soon after the 
formation of the Armory Hose Company. It consisted of fifty men, 
and the first foreman was D. J. Randall. The steamer purchased at 
about this time and for this company, cost $4,500 ; it was a Siisby 
rotary. In the spring of 1876 the village purchased two new steamers 


of the Silsby make, at a cost of $4,000 "each. The village has always 
been fortunate in escaping disastrous fires, and the department is now 
thoroughly equipped after modern ideas. 

In 1852 the Ilion Bank began operations under the State banking 
laws, with a capital of $100,000. The first directors were Eliphalet 
Remington, Benjamin Carver, Benjamin P. Markham, John P. Sill, 
George Tuckerman, Vose Palmer, John Ingersoll, Alonzo Wood, 
Henry L. Green, Peter H. Warren, and John A. Rasbach. Eliphalet 
Remington was elected the first president; John Ingersoll, vice-presi- 
dent; Robert H. Pomeroy, cashier. Mr. Remington held the office of 
president until his death, and was succeeded by George Tuckerman. 
The successive cashiers were Frank Carver succeeding Mr. Pomeroy, 
Le Roy Tuttle, John A. Rasbach, H. H. Devendorf, and Floyd C. 
Shepard. The bank suspended business in 1866, paying all of its lia- 
bilities in full. 

The Ilion National bank was organized March 14, 1867, with a cap- 
ital of $100,000. The first president was Jacob J. Folts, and the first 
cashier, Charles Harter, who was succeeded in the office by F. C. 
Shepard, and he by David Lewis, the present cashier. The first board 
of directors was as follows : Varnum S. Kenyon, Alfred E. Varney, 
William Getman, George Tuckerman, Floyd C. Shepard, Jacob J. 
Folts, John Hoefler, Henry L Green, Peter Countryman. Philo Rem- 
ington succeeded Mr. Folts as president of the bank, and Charles 
Harter, the present president, succeeded Mr. Remington. The excel- 
lent management of this institution is shown in its condition. Its de- 
posits now amount to $355,582.62, while it has surplus and profits of 
over $40,000. 

The first attempt to secure for Ilion better educational facilities than 
were supplied by the common and free schools, was the formation of 
an association about 1881— 2, comprising twenty progressive citizens, 
who pledged themselves to the payment of $200 each for the establish- 
ment of an academy. The institution was started, but it did not meet 
with expected success, and in 1864 it was given up and a graded 
school established. 

In addition to the district school- house then in existence, a com- 
modious brick building was erected in 1865, at a cost of $23,000. It 


has since been enlarged by an extension of the stone building in the 
rear, which is used for a primary department. The bounds of the dis- 
trict coincide with those of the village. This school has been under 
the care of the Regents of the University for about fifteen years, and the 
academic class sent out its first graduates in 1873. There are about 
1,200 children of school age in the district, and twenty-two teachers are 
employed, with Judson I. Wood as principal. 

Through the inauguration in Ilion of large manufactories, noticed a 
little further on, the village has grown rapidly and is now a thriving 
business center. Extensive water works are about to be constructed, 
for which bonds have been issued and sold to tiie amount of $95,000. 
Connection is conveniently made with Mohawk by the street railroad, 
already described, and with Frankfort by another line which was opened 
in 1 87 1 ; and a station on the Central road at a distance of half a mile 
and one on the West Shore still nearer, give the place additional im- 

The writer who attempts to make a history of Ilion mus-t give very 
much of his attention to the founding and growth of the great Reming- 
ton arms works, which have in recent years passed to other hands. 
The farm which Eliphalet Remington (senior) purchased in 18 16 lay 
upon the banks of a small stream (Steele's Creek) in the then wilds of 
Herkimer county, the waters of which have now almost disappeared. 
Young Remington early showed remarkable mechanical genius, and 
tradition tells of how he constructed a gun for his own use before he 
reached manhood, an appeal for one to his father having resulted in 
refusal. The gunsmith at Utica, to whom the boy's gun barrel was 
taken for rifling, saw that it was made in an unusually excellent manner 
and greatly encouraged its maker by his praise. It should be stated 
that there was a forge of some kind on the Remington farm, which 
served the boy's purpose in making the gun barrel. When the fame 
of that first production began to spread, as it soon did, young Reming- 
ton was called on at first by a few and soon by many others to make 
guns for them. At first he made only the barrels, but gradually ex- 
tended his operations to the finishing of the complete guns. Down to 
about 1 83 1 the work was prosecuted at the home place, and the demand 
for the Remington barrels and guns far exceeded the capacity of the 
insignificant works. 


In 1828 the canal had recently been opened and Mr. Remington in 
searching for a proper and convenient site for the extension of his 
works, saw with prophetic eye the possibilities offered at Ilion. He 
accordingly purchased a large tract of land here and erected his first 
shop, a low one-story building. Here he carried on his business, which 
showed a healthy growth. In 1835 he purchased of Ames & Co 
of Springfield, Mass , their plant of gun-finishing machinery, with a 
part of an unfinished contract with the United States for some thou- 
sands of carbines. The works were increased, and before the comple- 
tion of this contract, the rising establishment was given another for 
5,000 Harper's Ferry Rifles; and still another followed in quick suc- 
cession. About the year 1840, while the capacity of the works was 
still insignificant compared to their later magnitude, Mr Remington's 
sons, Samuel, Philo and Eliphalet, reached manhood and took an active 
part in the growing business, with the best of results. 

In 1847 the firm began making pistols, and so simply and efficiently 
were they constructed that a large market was opened for them at 
once. This branch of the business grew to enormous proportions be- 
fore they took up the manufacture of their well-known army and navy 
revolver, which was afterwards adopted by the United States govern- 
ment. For some time previous to 1865 the firm had perfected systems 
particularly designed for the conversion of muzzle loaders to breech 
loaders, in rifles. A carbine embodying the results of their prior ex- 
periments in this direction was tested among about sixty others by a 
board of government ofificers at Springfield in 1865, and attracted con- 
siderable attention. During the succeeding year valuable improve- 
ments were made in the system, after which for many years the Rem- 
ington was the leading breech-loading arm of the world. Many 
governments in the old world adopted it, while large contracts were 
filled for the United States, and the gross number manufactured reached 
much more than half a million. In all of the severe tests made by 
expert boards for the several governments, including our own, this arm 
maintained its foremost reputation. So great was the capacity of the 
new works that in 1870-71, during a period of about seven months, the 
enormous number of 155,000 rifles was shipped to the French govern- 
ment — a result altogether unprecedented in the history of similar 


In January, 1865, the Remington works were incorporated, with 
Philo Remington as president; Samuel Remington, vice-president; 
Eliphalet Remington, secretary. In 187 1 Col. W. C. Squire was 
elected secretary ; he was a member of the Remington family by mar- 
riage, and is now United States Senator for the State of Washington. 
The nominal capital was $1,000,000, while the value of the plant was 
then placed at $1,500,000. This latter estimate was subsequently in- 
creased to about $3,000,000. 

In 1856 the manufacture of agricultural implements was begun at the 
armory, commencing with a cultivator tooth, which soon found a large 
and profitable market. To this was afterwards added plows, mowing 
machines, wheel rakes, horse hoes, and a large variety of smaller tools. 
For this department three large buildings were erected, and they em- 
ployed at one time about 400 men. 

In 1870 the firm added to their line of products the manufacture of 
sewing machines, a branch of the business that soon became as suc- 
cessful as those preceding it. This step was taken partly because of 
the fluctuation in the manufacture of arms, much of the machinery be- 
ing necessarily idle at times. An excellent sewing machine was turned 
out and it found such favor that the sale reached about 35,000 in a 
single year. 

In 1874 still another important industry was added to these works in 
the manufacture of tj'pewriters, which have since become almost a 
household necessity. While this branch of the business was being de- 
veloped and improved, the firm became embarrassed through causes 
which we need not enter into here. In 1878, to relieve the financial 
embarrassment of the corporation, its bonds for over $500,000 having 
five years to run, were issued to its creditors. In 1882, in order to pro- 
vide relief and get quicker returns for a part of the vast product of the 
factories, an arrangement was made whereby the sewing machine out- 
put was disposed of bj" the Remington Sewing Machine Agency, a 
company formed for the purpose of marketing all the machines made 
at the works. In August of the same year further arrangements to 
this end were made by which the typewriters were sold direct to the 
firm of Wyckoff, Seamans & Benedict, who continued to handle the 
product of that department until March, 1886, at which time they pur- 


chased the business and machinery and have ever since handled with 
great success both manufacture and sale of these machines, giving em- 
ployment at the factory to about 400 men. In 1883 a further arrange- 
ment was made with Lamberson, Furman & Co., of New York, to 
handle all the sporting arms. All this served as a relief for a period ; 
but unfortunately it was not permanent. In March, 1886, the entire 
typrewriter interest was sold, as above stated, and a part of the works 
leased in which to continue manufacture. This action preceded the 
failure of the company only a few weeks, and in April A. N. Russell 
and Addison Brill, both prominent business men of Ilion, were appoint- 
ed receivers of the company. They immediately assumed charge of 
the works and took an inventory as soon as practicable. Their re- 
port was ready in June. Under order of the court they operated the 
works until 1888. In October, 1887, they were given an order to sell 
the works at auction, and the first sale was made in February, 1888, 
the gun department being sold to Hartley & Graham, of New York, 
for $152,000. This sale included the armory plant and all the goods 
in process of completion. The sale was not approved by the court, 
and a second took place in March, 1888, under which the same firm 
paid $200,000 for the same property. This firm organized the Rem- 
ington Arms Company, with Marcellus Hartley as president; Thomas 
G. Bennett, vice-president; W.W.Reynolds, secretary; Wilfred Hart- 
ley, treasurer. About 500 hands are now employed in these works, 
and new lines of manufacture have been added which have greatly in- 
creased the magnitude of the establishment, particularly the Reming- 
ton bicycle, which is now occupying a prominent place among the vari- 
ous styles of popular wheels. 

The agricultural works were formerly a co-partnership carried on by 
Philo and Eliphalet Remington. Charles Harter was made assignee of 
this establishment and it was sold at auction in the summer of 1887, 
passing afterwards by lease to the typewriter firm, which has recently 
become incorporated and purchased the property, while one depart- 
ment of the original agricultural works is now carried on by A. M. 
Ross & Co., who make a variety of implements and employ about 80 
hands. In the typewriter works about 600 hands are employed and 
nearly 20,000 machines are made annually. These large industries are 
of great benefit to the village. 


The Ilion Manufacturing Company was organized in 1886, for the 
manufacture of knit goods. The building and machinery have recently 
been leased to the Ilion Knitting Company. About 80 hands are 
employed, and the product comprises ladies' and men's underwear. 

The business now conducted by A. N. Russell & Sons was established 
by Brill & Russell in 1 871, on the site of the present plant. S. T. Rus- 
sell joined the firm in 1880, the style being changed to Brill, Russell & 
Co. In 1882 George Russell became a member of the firm and the 
name was changed to A. N. Russell & Sons. A very large lumber 
trade is carried on, and also the manufacture of sash, doors, blinds, gen- 
eral interior finishing and boxes. About 40 hands are employed. 

Frederick Coleman has been connected with carriage manufacturing 
in Ilion since 1875, when he began in a small way. In 1889 the Cole- 
man Carriage and Wagon Company was organized as a corporation, 
since which time large factories have been built. Carriages and sleighs 
of high grade are made, and 75 hands employed. Thomas Richard- 
son, president; Charles Harter, vice-president; A. N. Russell, secre- 
tary; Frederick Coleman, treasurer and general manager. 

The first newspaper in Ilion was the Ilion Indepe7ide7it, which was es- 
tablished by George W. Bungay in 1855. The proprietor, who in later 
years acquired considerable reputation as a poet and a lecturer, and 
died in 1892, was induced to come to the village and start a paper by 
the Remingtons. Poets are not necessarily good editors and managers, 
and the Independent was not very successful. In 1858 it was removed 
to Utica, its title changed to the Central Independent, and subsequently 
it was merged in the Utica Herald. In the year last named, and after 
the departure of the Independent, the Remingtons again took steps to 
secure for the place the publication of a newspaper, and S. B. Loomis 
became the editor and nominal proprietor. The paper was Republican 
in character and was called the Loyal Citizen. It probably did not pay 
financially, at least for a period, but received the necessary support from 
the Remingtons, who employed various persons to take the active man- 
agement of the establishment. Subsequently the name of the paper 
was changed to the Ilion Citizen, which it has since borne. In 1878 
Rev. Albert E. Corse was editor of the journal, and C. D Rose busi- 
ness manager. 


In 1884 the establishment was in possession of Weaver & Mead, and 
on the 1st of January, 1885, C. S. Munger purchased a half interest in 
tlie estabhshment and the firm style became Weaver & Munger. At 
the same time the Herkimer Citizen was founded by the firm and has 
continued to the present time. (See history of Herkimer village.) In 
the conduct of the two journals, George W. Weaver was in immediate 
charge of the Ilion branch, while Mr. Munger gave his attention to the 
Herkimer sheet. On the ist of January, 1889, Mr. Weaver retired 
and his interest was purchased jointly by A. T. Smith and F. E. Easton, 
who with Mr. Munger form the Citizen Publishing Company. The 
Citizen is at the present time a progressive, ably edited paper, and 
makes its influence felt throughout the county. 

The Ilion News was started March 21, 1889, by C. A. White. He 
sold out in 1891 to C. D. Munsel, the present publisher, under whose 
management the paper is gaining in reputation and circulation. 

Churches of Ilion. — Methodism in Ilion dates back to 1832, when 
Rev. John Ercanback, a preacher in charge of the Litchfield circuit, or- 
ganized the first class, consisting of John Hunt and wife, Mrs. Bolles, 
Mrs. Nathan Morgan, W. Norton, R. Hunt, and probably one or two 
others. John Hunt was the first class leader and at his house the first 
preaching was held. After that the school-house was used for services. 
In 1840 Ilion, together with Frankfort and Mohawk, was made a part 
of the Herkimer circuit ; Rev. C. H. Austin was the preacher in charge. 
In 1842 Rev. B. I. Diefendorf and Rev. J. Thomas were sent to Herki- 
mer circuit and in that year a union church was built by the Methodists 
and Universalists ; this was afterwards sold to the Baptists and still be- 
longs to them. In 1856 Frankfort and Ilion were made a separate cir- 
cuit, with Rev. A. M. Smith in charge; he was followed for two years 
by Rev. J. B. Ferguson, and one year by Rev. O. Squire. 

In i860 Ilion became a preaching station, having some sixty mem- 
bers and paying $400 preacher's salary. In 1862 the parsonage was 
built, Rev. J. F. Dayan, pastor. In 1 866 was built the First Metho- 
dist Church ; Rev. E. Horr (then a probationer in the Conference), 
pastor. In 1890 Mrs. Caroline Remington, in remembrance of her 
husband lately deceased, built and presented to the church the Reming- 
ton Memorial Chapel ; Rev. D. F. Pierce, pastor. The church has now 


465 members and thirty probationers and owns a church and parson- 
age property worth $35,000. 

The pastors of the church have been : 

1860-61, D. B. White; 1862-63, J. F. Dayan ; 1864-66, E. Horr, jr.; 1867-6!). F. 
F. Jewel; 1870-72, M. S. Hard; 1873-74, T. B. Sliepherd; 1875-77, H. W. Bennett; 
1878-80, G. M. Mead; 1881-83, W. H. Reese; 1884-80, S. O. Barnes; 1887-90, D. 
F. Pierce; 1891-92, R. E. King. Superintendent of Sunday-school, L. B. Walrath. 

The Baptist church (tinder title of the First Baptist Church of Ilion) 
was organized in April, 1865, but had been recognized by a council 
which met in the Union church in February preceding, and consisted of 
fifteen members. Rev. R. O. Broady was the first pastor. In 1869 the 
Union church building was purchased by the society and extensively 
remodeled, enlarged and refitted; it was dedicated on the 13th of 
May, 1869. Among the pastors who have served the church since the 
first are Revs. W. W. Jones, Judson Davis, James H. Andrews, L. 
Golden, Mr. Maxfield, Mr. Reeder, Mr. Merwin, A. B. Sears, who came 
in 1887, and Rev. A. M. Beggs, who came in 1890. The membership 
is about 250. Superintendent of Sunday-school, Frederick Coleman. 

First Presbyterian Church of Ilion. — At a meeting of the Presbytery 
of Utica, held at Little Falls January 16, 1871, Aaron Brown and A. 
H. Sumner appeared in behalf of residents of Ilion and asked to be or- 
ganized into a Presbyterian church. The request was granted and the 
following persons became members : 

Aaron Brown, A. H. Sumner, Mrs. Mandana A. Sumner, Rebecca Churchill, A. P. 
Redway, Mrs. Fannie Redway, Sarah A. Southworth," Helen Southworth, Eliza R. 
Hanson, George Newth, Mrs. Charlotte Newth, John Wake, Mrs. Mariette Wake, 
Thomas G. Hutchinson, H. Harper Benedict, Mrs. Marie Benedict, Sarah Robinfon, 
and E. Robinson. 

In the following November Rev. D. M. Rankin became pastor and 
continued until 1878. In October of that year Rev. A. F. Lyle was 
called ; he was succeeded in 1882 by Rev. M. E. Dunham, and he bj' Rev. 
W. C. Taylor, the present pastor, whose services began in October, 1888. 
In the spring of 1874 a lot was purchased on the corner of Morgan and 
Second streets for $4,500, and there the present handsome brick church 
was erected ; the entire property is worth about $40,000. 

The first elders of the church were Aaron Brown and A. H. Sumner. 
The deacons were George W. Newth and James Truax. The first 


trustees were A. M. Osgood, S. W. Skinner and Russel Perkins. The 
present trustees are F. O. Harter, J. K. Harris, A. H. Sumner, N. J- 
Newth, C. W. Carpenter, H. A. House, J. C. Truax. Elders, A. H. 
Sumner, N. J. Newth, J. K. Harris, F. O. Harter, Robert Watson. 
The church membership is 143. 

Church of the Annunciation. — In 1845 Rev. Father John McMenomy, 
a Roman CathoHc priest, established a mission at this place in connec- 
tion with missions at Mohawk, Frankfort and Herkimer. He was 
stationed at Little Falls and attended this mission from that place, con- 
tinuing to do so until 1856, when Rev. Father William Howard took 
charge of this missionary field. He lived in Mohawk the first year and 
preached in Varley Hall, in that village. In August, 1857, Father 
Howard purchased of Mr. J. P. Pelton, of Ilion, the house and lot, con- 
taining two and a half acres of land, upon which the church and par- 
sonage now stands, paying therefor $4,500. In April, 1868, he in- 
augurated measures for building a church edifice, and in August of the 
same year the present church was dedicated by J. J. Conroy, bishop of 
Albany, assisted by twelve priests. The buildings cost $14,000, and 
the property is at the present time worth $30,000 and is clear from 
debt. The membership comprises about 200 families. The station is 
now and has for many years been in charge of Rev. Father J. F. 

The Catholic Parish of the Annunciation, including the villages and 
surrounding country of Herkimer, Mohawk, Ilion and Frankfort, was 
organized into a mission in 1867, by Rt. Rev. J. J. Conroy, with Rev. 
William Howard as first resident pastor. His assistants at different 
times were Revs. A. P. Ludden, J. F. Mullany and W. J. Smith. 

Owing to his zealous faith and untiring energy Father Howard was 
very successful in securing a suitable church, rectory and cemetery, and 
for the most part paying for them. His continued illness, and local 
business depression, induced him to retire to Herkimer in 1878. He 
was succeeded by Rev. J. F. Hyland. During his incumbency of four- 
teen years the church, cemetery and rectory have been enlarged and 
greatly improved. The debt also has been paid and there are a few 
thousand dollars in the treasury. 

Though Herkimer was severed from the mission in 1878, and Frank- 
fort in 1886, the church attendance has not decreased. 


Rev. J. F. Hyland was the second child of a large family in the 
town of Hamilton, Madison county, N. Y. He graduated successively 
from the public schools there, Eastman's Commercial Business College, 
Poughkeepsie ; Niagara University, Suspension Bridge, and St. Joseph's 
Theological Seminary, Troy, where he was ordained in 1874. 

He was assistant pastor of St. John the Baptist's church, Syracuse, 
and St. Mary's, Amsterdam, and became pastor of the Church of the 
Annunciation, Ilion, in 1878. 

St. Augustine's Protestant Episcopal Church was incorporated on the 
9th of August, 1869, with the following officers: Wardens, Floyd C. 
Shepard and John W. Newhouse; vestrymen. S. Bosworth Johnson, 
William Onyans, William R. Russell, David W. Vanderburgh, Richard 
Hard and George Rix. In August, 1869, Rev. Charles H. Lancaster 
was chosen rector, and was succeeded November i, 1871, by Rev. 
George H. Hepburn. Succeeding rectors have been Revs. C. F. A. 
Bielby, Edward M. Pecke, J. B. Hubbs, Edwin Armstrong, J. Dolby 
Skeene, S. M. Griswold, and the present rector. Rev. William Mason 
Cook, who came in 1888 There are 173 communicants in the church, 
and following are the wardens : F. C. Shepard, R. L. Winegar ; vestry- 
men, George P. Rix, T. J. Behan, George H. Barlow, George H. Dyett, 
Alfred Williamson, N. A. Hanchett, Walter C. Rix and Walter S. Baker. 

The present officers of the village of Ilion are as follows : President, 
Dr. A. J. Douglass; trustees, Seward Hakes, Harrington P. Whitney, 
M. L. Burke, John Van Gumster ; clerk, Z. E. Cooper; chief engineer 
of the fire department, M. M. Kane; chief of police, Daniel Foley. S. 
G. Heacock is postmaster. 




WHEN the town of Herkimer was organized in 1788, it contained all 
that part of the county of Montgomery bounded northerly by the 
north bounds of the State; easterly by Palatine (then extending to the west 
bounds of the present town of Manheim) ; southerly by the Mohawk Riv- 
er, and westerly by a north and south line running across the Mohawk 
River at the fording place " near the house of William Cunningham, 
leaving the same house to the west of said line." This fixed the west 
line of the town on the present western limits of the county, north of the 
Mohawk, and covered the area now embraced in the towns of Fairfield, 
Little Falls, Newport, Norway, Ohio, Russia, Schuyler, and Wilmurt, 
besides a considerable portion of the northern part of the State outside 
of the present county line. These limits also embrace all that portion 
of the German Flats and Kingsland districts north of the Mohawk and 
east of the present westerly bounds of the county. 

The town as at present constituted is bounded on the north by New- 
port and Fairfield ; east by West Canada Creek and Little Falls ; south- 
erly by the Mohawk River, and westerly by Schuyler. The whole of 
Winne's and portions of Burnetsfield, Hasenclever's, Colden's and Wil- 
lett's patents, and some lots of the Royal Grant and Glen's purchase 
are in this town. 

The settlement of the territory included in this town has been alluded 
to in the early pages of this work. It will be remembered that the In- 
dian deed of Herkimer county lands was under date of 1721, and the 
land was afterwards secured to the settlers by the colonial patent under 
date of April 25, 1725. At that date the lands had been surveyed, num- 
bered and assigned to persons by name. One hundred acres were as- 
signed to each of the ninety-two persons named in the patent, on 
the north side of the river. In order to make an equal division of the 
flats surrounding the present village of Herkimer, thirty acres were as- 
signed to each person who did not secure intervale lands elsewhere on the 


river. The thirty acres were designated as lowland, and to those who had 
the thirty acres each, were also assigned seventy acres of upland, called 
woodland in the patent; the thirty-acre lots and seventy- acre lots were 
designated by the same numbers, and in order to bring each of the 
seventy-acre lots near to its corresponding thirty-acre lot, the former 
were made about sixteen rods wide on the river, and almost two and 
one-half miles long. (See map, page 38.) The names of the Palatines 
who were to settle on the lots were certified to the surveyor- general 
and certificates issued to the settlers in the winter and spring of 1723. 
The certificate of the lot embracing the site of the village of Herkimer 
bears date March 28, 1723. This lot was assigned to Gertrude Petri, 
wife of Johan Jost Petri, and contained eighty- six acres. 

At the election of town officers in March, 1809, the following persons 
were chosen : 

For supervisor, Hen i-y Staring; town clerk, Melger Fols; assessors, Melger Fols, 
George Smith, Melger Tlmm ; collector, George Fols ; constables, George FoU, Adam 
Bauman; commissioners of highways, Peter F. Bellinger, John Demiitli, Jacob N. 
Weber; overseers of the poor, Henrv Staring, George Weber, jr., Michael Myers; 
overseers of highways, Marx Demuth, Philip Helmer, Adam Hartman, Hannes De- 
muth, Peter Weber, Philip Herter, Hannes H.\\ts. jr., Hannes Eiseman; pound- 
raasters, George AVeber, jr., Peter Barky, Hannes Demuth, Nicholas Hilts, Hannes 

From 1725 to the close of the Revolution the foregoing county his- 
tory comprises very little of general moment that did not take place in 
this town and German Flats. Fort Dayton was a small stockaded fort 
erected on the site of the village of Herkimer ^ and within its limits was 
included the land on which the Reformed church and the court-house 
now stand. 

' Regarding the name o£ " Herkimer " as applied to this town, Gen. F. E. Spinner wrote in 1878 
as follows : " The present nomenclature came about by a most singular misunderstanding between 
Hon. Simeon De Witt, then surveyor-general of the State, and Dr. William Petry, the maternal 
grandfather ot Judge Earl, of Herkimer. The doctor was one of the most intelligent of the set- 
tlers of the upper Mohawk valley, and having previously for several years been a member of the 
State Legislature, was sent to Poughkeepsie, where the Legislature then sat, in regard to the 
erection of new towns in the then county of Montgomery. This was in 1788. The names ot Ger- 
man Flats and Herkimer had been agreed upon, but the location of the two was not understood by 
the surveyor-general. That officer had his survey maps by patents before him. He asked the 
doctor as to the situation of each. Viewing the ground from his standpoint, below the mouth of 
the Mohawk, looking up that river, he answered that Herkimer was on the if/i and German Flats 
on the ri^/tt. The surveyor-general supposed that the doctor meant the right and left banks of the 
Mohawk as the river flowed ; so wrote the names on his map, and so the error was enacted into a 


Previous to the Revolution the German settlers looked upon the site 
of Herkimer village as desirable for a business center, as it rose grace- 
fully above the surrounding lands, and was early known as " the Stone 
Ridge." This site was embraced in lot 17, assigned, as we have said, 
to Gertrude Petri. On account of its desirable features for compact 
building, the settlers complained to some extent that it had been 
granted to one person. In consequence, Mrs. Petri, or members of her 
family, executed a deed dated July i, 1765, to forty-six of the Burnets- 
field lot owners, and the deed ran to those persons whether they were 
then dead or living, and conveyed sixty-two and three fourths acres 
lying southwardly from an east and west line running just north of the 
present Palmer House. Mrs. Petri retained the part of her lot lying 
north of this line, and there the court-house, the Reformed church, and 
other buildings now stand 

Little was done until after the Revolution towards making this site 
a center of close settlement. In 1793 steps were taken for the divi- 
sion of the tract into small lots, and Evans Wharry, Isaac Brayton, 
and Phineas Gates were the commissioners for the task. The strange 
proceeding was then witnessed of granting lots principally to dead 
persons and seventy years after the lots in the original patent had been 
assigned to them. The sixty-two and three-fourths acres were divided 
into two sections, the present Main street being the dividing line, and a 
street was run through each section parallel with Main street. They 
then laid out the land into half acre lots, bounding the same on the 
three streets that are now known as Main, Prospect and Washington 
streets, and making forty-six lots in each division. A map was made 
showing the numbers and positions of the lots, and the forty-six names 
were written on slips of paper and placed in a hat to be drawn out, the 
first drawing being written on lot No. i, and so on through the whole 
list. Each person, dead or alive, whose name was read in the proceed- 
ings, was assigned two lots of the same number, one in each division. 
Nicholas Feller, who received lots No. 4, was dead before the deed was 
executed by which the sixty-two and three- fourths acres were granted. 

law, and the reversal of the names was not known until too late, and so they have remained ever 
since. The old and true German Flats, which are situate in the angle formed by the confluence of 
the Mohawk with the West Canada Creek, were by thisj mistake placed on the opposite side of the 
Mohawk, and Fort Herkimer was oarrried by force of law to the German Flats." 


John Jost Herkimer was assigned lots 45, and he, too, was dead long 
before the division was made; and the same might be said of most of 
the others. It is under this partition that titles to the village lots have 
since been held. The title to the portion of the Stone Ridge retained 
by Mrs. Petri, with the exception of the acre belonging to the Reformed 
churcl), passed into the hands of Gen. Michael Myers soon after the 
Revolutionary War, and from him the title to all that part of the village 
site is held, including the title to the land on which the county build- 
ings stand. The original map made by the commissioners contains 
the following names of those who received lots, given with the original 
spelling : 

Mary Catharine Coen, Lodwick Richet, Jurgh Dox.stater, John Adam Staring, 
Michael Edick, Johonas Pownrad, Adam Michael Smith, Nicholas Woolver, John 
Vanderline, Wendriclv Myer, John Jurfrh Smith, John Casler, Johona.s Bellinger, Law- 
rence Harder, Nicholas Staring, Lendert Helmer, Lodwick 'Pears, Godfrey Reele, 
Jacob Weaver, Dedrick Tamouth, Christian Felmer, John Jost Herkimer, Hendrick 
Orendorf, Nicholas Wever, Johonas Miller, Frederick Bellinger, John Jurgh Kast, 
jr., Peter Bellinger, Rodolph Korsing, Jurgh Herkheimer, John Michael Edigh, 
Widow M. Folts, Hendrick Spoon, John Jost Petrie, Peter Spier, Johonas Boar- 
man, Thomas Shoemaker, Philip Helmer, Conradt Richet, John Adam Helmer, 
Frederick Staring, Anna Catharine Land, Nicholas Feller, John Adam Bowman, 
.Johan Jurgh Kast, Johanas Hess. 

It need hardly be stated that numerous descendants of these families 
are still living in the town of Herkimer and in other parts of the 

Here and on the opposite side of the river on the flats the settlers 
had, before the outbreak of the French and Indian war, made for them- 
selves comfortable homes, built mills and churches, and were living in 
contented peace. 

The building of the stone church and a mill south of the river is 
described in the preceding history of the town of German Flats ; these 
were the first in the present limits of the county. Then followed the 
erection of the church on the site of the Reformed church in Herkimer 
village, described a little further on. A grist- mill that was burned in 
the invasion of November, 1757, was situated about half a mile north 
of the turnpike, near the residence of George W. Pine, on lands of the 
late Hon. I'rederick P. Bellinger. This mill was built shortly after the 
year 1733 by Jacob Weber, to whom was assigned lot No. 10 in the 


patent on the north side of the river. He bought, July 2, 1733, an acre 
of land in lot No. 11, adjoining his lot, to make with his lot a con- 
venient mill site. In 1769 Dr. William Petry, then a prominent and 
leading German in the valley, took a bond from Jacob Weber and his 
son, George Jacob Weber, for a deed of this mill site. The condition 
in that bond shows that it was the site of a former mill, and is as fol- 
lows : 

The condition of this obligation is such that if the above bounden George Jacob 
Weber and Jacob Weber, Senior, their heirs, executors, administrators, or any of them, 
do will and truly deliver for the first of Jacob Weber, Senior, one acre of land in the 
clove of Christnian's mill Kill, and in Frederick Reegle's House place, where the oldmill 
was, and then together out of their own House place near by above this acre the land 
lying on the same Kill from one hill to the opposite one when he finds necessary for 
the use of a mill unto said William Petry, etc.l 

This extract shows that there was a mill on this site before the 
burning of 1757. It was one of the grist-mills mentioned in the ac- 
count of that disastrous event. There is a tradition that John Christ- 
man had a mill, probably a saw- mill, on this creek. On the site men- 
tioned in the bond above referred to, Dr. William Petry erected a grist- 
mill, a potashery, dwelling house and other buildings. These were all 
burned at the time of Brant's invasion in 1778. 

The following petition throws light upon the history of Fort Dayton 
(Herkimer), after the Revolution, and indicates that the Legislature 
gave some needed relief to poor widows whose husbands were killed in 
the war: 

To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of New Fork our humble petition 
sheweth : 

We the subscribers humbly beg to take in consideration our poor circumstances, it 
has been pleased to grant ten of the poor widows occasioned by the enemy, the Legis- 
lature by the session of last spring, some provision where Peter Tygert, Esq., should 
have the charge of, we never have got anything yet until this moment, and have 
spended the chief parts of our clothes and effects for the maintenance of our farailys. 

We therefore humbly beg to order this provision to be issued to us by Peter Tygert, 
Esq., to be forwarded so that we may in our distress be supported. Then further, 
since the petition of us has been grant four other families have shared the same fate 
with us and Catharine Demood, Anna Colsh, Catharine Reigel and Anna Lents, where 
two of their husbands had been killed and two taken prisoners. 

1 Samuel Earl's papers. 


So we humbly beg to grant us some support wberefore we shall ever pray and call 
ourselCs your honours' most obedient humble servants. 

Fort Dayton, March .'id, 1787. 

Elizabeth Ayres, Catharine Rinhill, 

Catharine Demood, Stbilla Dinis, 

Eva Keller, Anna Colsh, 

Ijertrand Steinway, Margareth Olementz, 

Catharine Reigel, Maria Skikk, 

Susan Otd, Anna Lentz, 

Maroareth Brown, Magdalein Snek.' 

Nicholas Feller, who has already been mentioned as receiving a lot 
in the division under Gertrude Petry's deed, and who also had posses- 
sion of a tract in German Flats, was assigned lot No. 7, lowland and up- 
land, on the north side of the river. The upland lot was, according to 
the late Samuel Earl, " the house place and is the next lot cast of the 
paper-mill in the village of Herkimer. There he lived and died. He 
made his will in 1734, one of the witnesses to which was John Jost Petri, 
his nearest neighbor, then living on the adjoining lot No. 8, whereon 
stands the paper-mill of Messrs. Miller & Churchill. In his will he 
gives his lot to his daughter, Maria Elizabeth, wife of George Hilts. 
The lot was afterwards owned by George Hilts's son, Nicholas Hilts, and 
he was succeeded by his son, George Hilts, who died in 1857." This is 
one of the few lots that remained in possession of descendants of the 
original holder until very recent years. Another lot that may be men- 
tioned as remaining in the family during a number of succeeding gener- 
ations was that of the Doxtaders, about a mile west of the court-house on 
the turnpike, lot No. 20. On this lot John Doxtader, father of Frede- 
rick, was wounded by the Indians in August, 17S0, while at work with 
his brothers on the lowlands near the river. Frederick Doxtader lived 
to a great age, and the lot passed to his daughter, wife of Alexander M. 
Gray, who occupied it. 

Before the War of the Revolution Dr. William Petry- purchased lot 
No. 1 1, lowland and upland. On the southerly end of the upland stands 
the Samuel Earl homestead, which is still in possession of the family. 
William Smith, also, still occupies the home of his ancestors. Members 
of the Smith and Shell families occupied until recent years the farms on 

' Samuel Earl's papers. 

' For sketch of Dr. Petry see Chapter on the Medical Profession, 


the east side of the West Canada Creek where their ancestors lived and 

The original Jacob Wever drew lot No. lo in the Burnetsfield assign- 
ment ; the upland lot, upon which he settled and lived, is at the head 
of Main street, in the village. After his death it passed to his sons, 
Peter and George Jacob, the latter getting the western half This land 
remained with members of the family until recent years. 

The emigration into the county after the Revolution took place chiefly 
between 1785 and 1800, and consisted largely of shrewd New Eng- 
landers. Between this Yankee element and the German settlers there 
was considerable rivalry and antagonism for some years, but ultimately 
the former became dominant, and the Germans gradually relinquished 
the conduct of affairs and supremacy in manufacturing and commercial 
matters. Brief sketches of a few of the settlers follow : 

Henry Ellison came into Herkimer soon after the county was created 
and settled on the West Canada Creek, some miles north of the village, 
where he engaged in farming and tanning. He was an intelligent, pro- 
gressive man and occupied several positions of trust ; was presidential 
elector in 1836, and held minor offices. He died at his home leaving 
an ample estate to his posterity. 

Dan Chapman was a native of Connecticut and came into the county 
at an early period, settling at the Stone Ridge in the village, where he 
engaged in mercantile pursuits and afterwards adopted the legal pro- 
fession He was admitted to the bar previous to 1804, was appointed 
surrogate in 1803, re-appointed in 1808, and held the office until 1816. 
He removed to Oneida county about 1820. 

Joab Griswold settled at Herkimer village, coming from Connecticut, 
his native State, early in the history of this county. He was an active 
politician and for his services in the Federal party was given the office 
of county clerk in March, 1798, which he held six years. Although a 
lawyer by profession, Mr. Griswold followed farming while he lived at 
Herkimer. Some of his descendants lived in Herkimer many years 
after the death of their ancestor. 

Elihu Griswold was a member of the medical profession, but did not 
follow it after he settled in Herkimer before the beginning of the pres- 
ent century. He was appointed county clerk in April, 1804, and held 


the office six years; was superseded, but reappointed in i8ll and held 
the office until his death in i8i2. He was succeeded by hisson-in law, 
Aaron Hackley, jr. Mr. Griswold was born in Herkimer August 17, 
1756, and Idied here January 12, 1812. He was educated and accom- 
plished ; a man of energy of character, courteous, generous and social. 

Philo M. Hackley was a native of Connecticut, and came with his 
father, Aaron Hackley, to the town of Salisbury in 1795. Philo re- 
moved within a few years to Herkimer village and engaged in mercan- 
tile operations, which he continued nearly twenty years. He was an 
honorable and high-minded man ; was a Federalist in politics and be- 
longed to that energetic and " talented body of men who early estab- 
lished themselves at the county seat, and during several years exerted 
a potent influence in the county." ^ He was appointed surrogate 
of the county in 1807, but a political revolution displaced him in the 
following year; was appointed sheriff in 1810, but another change re- 
moved him from that office. At the spring election of 18 19 he was 
chosen member of Assembly, with James Orton and Jacob Markel!, 
" three old fashioned and highly respected Federalists." Mr. Hackley 
lived several years in Little Falls and died in Michigan, whither he had 

Henry Hopkins was one of the early merchants of Herkimer. He 
came hither at an early day; was appointed sheriff in 18 13, held the 
office two years, and in 1815 was elected to the Assembly; was a can- 
didate in 1816, but was defeated. He died at Herkimer in 1827. 

Michael Myers has been mentioned in connection with the history of 
this town. He was a native of New Jersey, and of German descent. 
He was not of the original Palatine emigrants, but his ancestors may 
have been among those who came here in 1722. He was wounded at 
Johnstown in 1781, and was then about twenty-eight years of age. 
Upon the organization of the county courts he was appointed one of 
the judges and a justice of the peace in February, 1791, and was sev- 
eral times reappointed ; was elected the first member of Assembly 
after the erection of the county and re- elected the following year. He 
was elected to the Senate in 1795 and served four years, and was for 
many years a prominent and influential politician in Herkimer county. 

' Judge Benton's writings. 


He was a man of great energy and acquired a large fortune. He died 
at Herkimer February 17, 18 14, at the age of sixty-one years, leaving 
numerous descendants. Peter M. Myers, appointed county clerk in 
1 8 10, was a son, and he also left descendants in the county. 

Ephraim Snow lived and died at Herkimer village. He came from 
Connecticut some time before 1800 ; was appointed sheriff in 1806 and 
held the office only one year. He was a respected citizen. 

Chauncey Woodruff was a Herkimer merchant for many years. He 
was appointed sheriff of the county after its erection, under date of 
March 19, 1798, and held the office by reappointment until 1802. He 
died in Herkimer in 1810. 

Sketches of many other residents of the town will be found in cliap- 
ters relating to the legal and medical professions. 

For a few years succeeding the opening of the Erie Canal the out- 
look for growth in the village and town of Herkimer was not very 
promising ; but a few years later, when the Utica and Schenectady 
Railroad passed directly through the village, and the construction of 
the hydraulic canal was consummated, Herkimer seemed destined to 
take its proper place as one of the leading towns of Central New York. 
The farming community promptly and energetically entered upon the 
dairy industry and soon placed the town well up among the foremost in 
the manufacture of cheese and butter. 

The opening of the Herkimer and Poland Narrow Gauge Railroad 
in 1 88 1 brought down to the village a considerable volume of northern 
trade, adding its strength to the welfare of the village ; and this road, 
now just transformed into a first class railroad, extending directly across 
the northern part of the State, is surely destined to add greatly to the 
wealth and growth of this town and village. 

Following is a list of supervisors of Herkimer, with date of their 
incumbency : 

Henry Staring, 1789, '90; John Porteous, 1791-95; Chauncey Woodrufi, 1796, '97; 
Jacob Griswold, 1798; John Meyer, 1799, 1800 ; Matthias B. Talmadge, 1801 ; Evans 
Wharry, 1802, '03 ; Ellihu Griswold, 1804, '05 ; Jost D. Petrie, 1806-09, 1816 ; Eben 
Britton, 1810; John McCombs, 1811-13 ; Winsor Manard, 1814, '15; Philo M. Hack- 
ley, 1817-19; Jacob Small, 1820-25; Jacob N. Petrie, 1826, '27; Frederick P. Bell- 
inger, 1828-32, 1835, 1848; James B. Hunt, 1833, '34; Aaron Hackley, 1836, '37; 
Nicholas Smith, 1838; Frederick Dockstader, 1839; Ezra Graves, 1840, '41 ; Alex- 


anderM. Gray, 1842, '43, 1862-66; Peter C. Helmer. 1844; Robert Ethridge, 1845, 
'40; E. H. Williams, 1847; Robert Earl, 1849, 1861 ; Frederick A. Helmer, 1850, '51; 
Peter Countryman, 1852 ; John D. Spinner, 1853 ; Charles Spmner, 1854-58 ; Marcus 
W. Rasbach, 18G9, 1881-83, 1891 ; James A. Suiter, 1860, 1872; William Smith, 1867, 
'68; C. C. Witherstine, 1869-71, 1878; Erwin A. Munson, 1873; George P. Folts, 
1874; Clinton Beckwith, 1875; George W. Smith, 1876; Joab Small, 1877; Henry 
AlDeimel, 1879, '80, 1885; J. Horatio Huyck, 1884; Lewis B. Jones, 1886, '87; Adam 
J.Smith, 1888, '89: WiUiam B. Howell, 1890; William Horrocks, 1892. 


The village of Herkimer is the oldest in the county, and was incor- 
porated April 6, 1807, Geneva, Cooperstown and Utica then being the 
only villages west of Herkimer, and the two former antedated Herki- 
mer by only a few days. The population at the date of incorporation 
was probably about 300. In 1820 it was 547 ; in 1872, 2,000, and at 
the present time about 4,000. 

The village records as they exist at present begin at the year 1841, 
since which time the following presidents have been chosen : 

1841-44, C. Kathern; 1845, Ezra Graves; 1846, Peter F. Bellinger; 1847, Christian 
F. Spinner; 1848-50, C. A. Burton; 1851, '52, A. H. Laflin ; 1853, Charles Spinner; 
1854, J. D. Spinner; 1855, A. M. Gray; 1856-8. George W. Pine ; 1859, Samuel Earl ; 
1860, George W. Pine ; 1861. Byron Laflin ; 1862, '63, Wm. H. Barter ; 1864, B. Laflin ; 
1865, Robert Earl; 1866, William Smith; 1867, Jeremiah L. Haner; 1868, D. J. 
Curtiss: 1869, George W. Pine; 1870, J. G. Bellinger; 1871, George P. Folts; 1872, 
J. D. Spinner; 1873, William Smith ; 1874, D. M. Devendorf ; 1875, A. T. Freeman ; 
1876, J. D. Henderson ; 1877, Clinton Beckwith ; 1878, 79, H. M. P. Uhlee ; 1880, C. R. 
Snell; 1881, Clinton Beckwith; 1882, J. H. Huyck; 1883, J. D. Henderson; 1884, '89, 
Harvey Huyck; 1886, John D. Moore; 1887, Wm. B. Howell ; 1888, Charles G. Grosve- 
nor; 1889, L. B. Jones; 1890, '91, A. B. Steele; 1892, William Witherstine. 

In the year 1841 the village was small and few improvements had 
been made. There were no sidewalks, or almost none, except gravel, 
and the streets were mere graded roads. In that year $1 1.50 was paid 
for rental of the lot on which the engine-house stood. But the village 
had a brass band in those days, and a subscription paper is on record 
in 1842, showing that more than $150 was subscribed for the purchase 
of instruments. From about 1850 onward improvements in streets and 
sidewalks and the opening of new streets progressed rapidly. 

The usual provisions were made in early years for protection from 
fire, in which all citizens were required to share ; but it was not until 


one or two destructive fires occurred that thorough effort was made for 
the organization and eqiupment of a company. Those fires were the 
one of 1834, which destroyed the old Reformed church, the court- 
house and other structures, and that in 1838, which burned nearly all 
of the north half of the block where now stands the Waverly Hotel and 
the opera-house. In early years all owners of buildings were re- 
quired to keep a certain number of buckets on their premises, the num- 
ber based upon the size and height of the buildings. It is not now 
known just when the first engine was provided ; but a new one was 
purchased on June i, 1841, and among those who soon afterward were 
made firemen were the following: 

James Trumbly, Henry Clark, David Weber, Asa G. Kelsey, William Howell, jr., 
Michael SchafFner, jr., Gideon Dodge. Albert Webb, James A. Suiter, David P. Crosby, 
Philander A. Ford, Jeremiah Petrie and Charles W. Swift. 

A few months later the following were constituted Fire Company 
No. i: 

George Lake, Harvey Huyck, Gaylord Griswold, Philander A. Ford, Charles H. 
Hopkins, Gideon Dodge, Thomas Fetterly, Henry Clark, James Trumbly, Christian F. 
Spinner, Asa G. Kelsey, John P. De GraflT, Warren Caswell, jr., Benjamin Harter, 
Jeremiah Petrie, William Look, David Weber, William F. Hayes, Franklin Draper, 
Charles W. Swift, William Howell, jr., Alonzo B. Benedict, William F. Smith and 
Humphrey Williams, jr. 

At the next meeting of the trustees the following persons were ap- 
pointed firemen to Engine Company No. 2, viz. : 

Alexander M. Gray, Charles Spinner, James Hoffman, Peter L Lepper, Hubbard H. 
Morgan, Smith Colyer, Grant Davis, Albert S. Howell, Alonzo Hall, Henry Shaw, 
James Dolan, Hiram Campbell, George M. Harter, Charles Smith, David Bowers, John 
Bowers, Samuel Earl, Harvey H. Lewis, William Weber, 

Late in the same year a hook and ladder company was formed, of 
which the first members were : 

Nathan Esterbrooks, Joseph Bowers, Kellogg Hubbard, Willard A. Gray, Alfred P. 
Peck, Frederick A. Helmer, William A. Caswell, Peter F. Bellinger, John Vincent, 
Mark Batchelder, and William B. Houghton. 

There was a reorganization of the department in 1866, and $300 were 
raised " for equipping the late reorganized fire department." Under 
the stimulus of a destructive fire in 1S75, the department was again re- 
organized and steps taken to purchase a steam fire engine. Previous 


to this time and for many j-ears, the "Conqueror" engine and com- 
pany had served the village and was the only company^here. After 
the great fire this company was reorganized with the other changes, 
and it continued in active service until a few years since, when the 
completion of the public waterworks rendered it comparatively useless, 
and the company was disbanded. 

The steamer purchased in 1876 was of the Button make and has 
proved in the eflficient hands of the company one of the most powerful 
machines ever built. It is called Fort Dayton Steamer No. 2. The 
first officers of the company were : 

Isaac Mason, foreman; Joseph Palmer, first assistant foreman; W. H. Wilson, sec- 
ond assistant foreman; L. A. Lawton, secretary; H. A. Marckres, treasurer; H. M 
Qnackenbush, engineer. 

This steamer has for three years past held the state championship. 
The present officers of the company are as follow : 

Byron D. Small, foreman ; Charles P. Warburton, first assistant foreman ; Jacob 
Ackler, second assistant foreman; Edward Small, president; Thomas H. Allen, vice- 
president ; Albert Putnam, .secretary ; Albert Ertman, treasurer. 

Active Hook and Ladder company (now Excelsior) was first organ- 
ized July 28, 1874, with the following charter members: 

W. C. Stewart, J. V. Mallery, Charles A. Paul, William W. Barse, John H. Dresher, 
M. M. Draper, Howard C. Harter, James A. Clark, and John D. Moore. The officers 
were: Charles A. Paul, foreman; John H. Dresher, first assistant; Howard C. Harter, 
second assistant; W. C. Stewart, secretary; John D.Moore, treasurer. 

After organization the company removed to the old Conqueror (now 
Fort Dayton) engine-house and took charge of the old hand engine, 
continuing in that capacity until 1875, when they dropped the name of 
Active Engine Company No. 2, and took the name of Active Hose 
Company. In June, 1877, a hook and ladder truck was purchased and 
placed in their charge. The present officers of the company are : 

President, William Witherstine ; vice-president, William H. Whitmore; foreman, 
John D. Moore ; first assistant foreman, George W. Nellis, jr. ; second assistant fore- 
man, John Bowman; secretary, Thomas A. Byrnes; financial secretary, Irving Lynch; 
treasurer, William G. Smith. 

Fort Dayton Hose Company No. 2 was organized September 22, 
1875, when the steamer was purchased, and was incorporated Decem- 
ber 7, 1875. The first officers were : 


Foreman, George Susholz; first assistant, E. A. Brown; second assistant, A. B. 
Steele; secretary, W. C. Prescott; treasurer, W. C. Stewart. 

Tlie company now consists of twenty-eight members, and has the 
following officers : 

Thomas W. Grosvenor, foreman ; W. H. Bencliley, first assistant; M. A. Deimel, 
second assistant ; Cliarles W. Prescott, secretary ; Glen P. Munson, treasurer. 

The public supply of water to the village is owned and controlled by 
the village authorities and consists (1892) of fifty- two driven wells, 
from which pure and wholesome water is pumped and supplied in pipes 
by the Holly system. The supply was installed in 1888, at a cost of 
over $60,000. The money was raised on bonds of the village. 

For a considerable period after the close of the late war Herkimer 
village was especially progressive. New streets were rapidly opened, 
sidewalks multiplied, the fire department, as before explained, was in- 
creased, and general extension and prosperity prevailed. In 1875 the 
village adopted the act of 1870 for the incorporation of villages, giving 
the authorities broader powers. The police force as at present consti- 
tuted was organized in 1887, with Sylvester Wilson as chief He was 
succeeded by the present official, John T. Manion. There are two uni- 
formed patrolmen. 

The receipts from the various funds for the year ending March i, 
1892, were as follows: Ordinary fund, $8,013.73; highway fund, 
$6,(59.42 ; electric light (on hand February 18), $1,885 H ! police and 
fire, $5,721.78 — a total of $21,780.04. The village has no debt, ex- 
cepting the bonds for water and lights. 

Following are the village officers for 1892 : President, William Witherstine ; trustees, 
J. D. Moore, Lewis Turnier, Jacob G. Bellinger, James H. Walrad, Robert Barl 2d, 
C. D. West. Police Justice, E. B. Mitchell. Marshal Rice, chief of fire department. 
Police and Fire Commissioners, Charles Bell, Dr. Cyrus Kay, W. P. Munson, C. R. Snell. 
C. C. Spinner is secretary, and W. I. Taber, treasurer of the Light and Water Commis- 


It is not known precisely when the first church was built on the 
north side of the river in the limits of this county ; but it was previous 
to 1757. The stone church on the south side was already erected, as 



appears in the history of tlie town of German Flats. "Although at 
that time the inhabitants in this valley were few and could not have ex- 
ceeded eight or ten hundred on both sides of the river, yet there were 
good reasons for having two church edifices. At times, and especially 
in the spring of the year, it was impossible for the people to go from 
one side of the river to the other, on account of the floods, and as the 
people were a church- going people, there was a necessity for a place of 
worship on both sides, so that at such times as they could not all meet 
at one place, they could meet in separate places for worship. And in 
the absence of their clergyman, some one of the congregation would 
read service. Dr. William Petry was often called upon to do this, and 
so was John Christian Shell, the hero of Shell's Bush and the Chevalier 
Bayard among the people. In the absence of the clergyman it is said 
that Dr. Petry published his own bans. He was married in 1766."' 
The ample evidence of the existence of the church on the north side of 
the river, and where the present Reformed church now stands, on Main 
street, exists in the following old German document (translated by the 
late John P. Spinner) which reads as follows : 

" Germanflats, August 20, 1770. 
I, on the end undersigned, testify hereby that I have given an acre of land for a 
High Dutch Reformed church on the stone ridge ; but whereas, the church, with all its 
writings, in the devastation of this place by the Indians anno 1757, in an unfortunate 
manner has been burned away; and whereas, I have this land wherein this acre lies 
transferred to my son, Dietrich, and the same likewise did precede me to eternity, I 
John Jost Petrie, testify that the oldest son of the deceased Dietrich must give other 
writings as soon as the same comes to his years, and a new church, with my consent, 
on the same acre of land build again. Such do I attest with my own hand and seal. 

John Jost x Petkie. [l. s.] 
In presence mark 

Marcus Pptrie. 

This first church in the village was burned in 1757 and another built 
on the same site. 2 The latter was burned in 1834, and the present brick 
edifice erected on the site. 

■ Samuel Earl's writings, 1876. 

'^ The great difference between the social habits of that early period and those of the present are 
shown in the toUowing account rendered by a committee appointed by the church to go to Albany 
and transact some business in lyg; : 


Important clianges took place in this church during the ministry of 
Rev. John P. Spinner (1801-1841), owing largely to the gradual acces- 
sions to the Yankee element in the population. "The New England 
influence was asserting itself, and presently a style of doctrine and a 
form of worship were required that should be more in accord with New 
England, or perhaps we should say, with American ideas. To the 
descendants of the Puritans and to those in general who came of 
English stock, and who were beginning now to settle here and else- 
where throughout the county in considerable numbers, the German 
service and the prevailing customs and usages of the German people 
were not at all congenial. Besides, the English language was coming 
more and more into general use, so that some change in the manage- 
ment or at least in the mode of conducting ecclesiastical affairs, was 
rendered necessary by the changed condition of the church and of the 
community. Add to this the fact of Mr. Spinner's opposition to new 
men and measures and the feeling of estrangement which had sprung 
up to some extent from other causes, even among his old German 
parishioners, and the result may be easily accounted for In 1827 the 
old pastor was led through stress of circumstances to abandon his pul- 
pit for a time and maintain himself in some other way than by the 
ministrations of the gospel." ^ Mr. Spinner's absence at length attracted 
the attention of the classis, and he was cited before that body, where he 
was exonerated from blame in the matter. The resolutions of the classis 
were accompanied by wholesome advice to both pastor and people, and 
the church work was soon resumed. But strange to say it was soon 
afterwards resolved by the consistory that a subscription paper be cir- 


Feb'y 7— To liquors at different places, £><^ 4 o 

8 Paid John Fonday for 3 sup., 3 quarts cider, 3 lodgings & ^ gill gin o lo 6 

9 Paid Johnson, Schenectady, i grog, i lodging, i supper, i glass bitters, 7 I 6 and 

stage to Albany S I o 15 o 

To and in Albany, 2 dinners, I glass punch - o g o 

To cash paid Barber the printer 3 .^ o 

To cash paid Myers for getting the papers from New York 080 

From loth to 16th included, to sundries in liquors 080 

To 7X day's boarding and liquors at Crane's, in Albany, as per receipt.. 5 11 o 

To bread and cheese for on the way home, 2 I. Liquors to Schenectady 046 

At Alsober's, .Schenectady, for liquors and lodgings 030 

To expenses in liquors from Schenectady to home 070 

J History of the Reformed church at Herkimer, by Rev. H. M. Co.x. 




culated for the support, not only of Rev. Mr. Spinner, but also of tlie 
Rev. Henrj M. Snyder. (Mr. Snyder had preached in the pulpit dur- 
ing part of the absence of Mr. Spinner, and was not in favor with the 
latter.) In other words, an effort was to be made to unite the German 
and the English speaking elements in one congregation. This action 
was taken in 1830. Prior to that, however, a second Reformed church 

had been organized, with 
the view of meeting the 
needs of that portion of the 
community that could not 
understand the German 
tongue. It was incorpo- 
rated August 21, 1824, un- 
der the title of " Tlie Uni- 
ted Dutch Church of Herki- 
mer and German Flats." 
This society existed until 
1833, and was served during 
that period by Revs. Sam- 
uel Center, Isaac S. Ketch- 
um, J. Boyd, J. Morris and 
J H. Pitcher. 

After the burning of the 
church in 1834 the congre- 
gation worshiped about a 
year in the village school- 
house, while the present 
building was in course of 
erection. The first sale of 

^ I pews in the new church oc- 

. curred on February 5, 1835 ; 

_ . . j, I'.vRNKD Jan. 25, 1S34. ■' -" -'-' ' 

but the church soon found 
itself in straitened circumstances, while the old controversies w^hich had 
led to the organization of the second church continued to come to the 
surface. This led to a kind of reorganization and active efforts to re- 
lieve and preserve the church. Many members of the disbanded society 



pledged their co-operation to the new movement, which included a 
provision for employing a second minister to preach in the English 
language. The result was the engagement of Rev. James Murphy, 
then of Manheim, who remained as colleague of Mr. Spinner from 1837 
to 1842. During his pastorate, which continued alone after 1842 until 
1849, the church was furnished, a bell purchased, and other improve- 
ments made. In 1838 the church officers resolved to erect a consist- 
ory house to cost $250. This amount proving insufficient, $400 were 
expended for the purpose and the building was erected. 

After four years of experience with the two pastors it was seen that 
the expense was more than the members could bear, and steps were 
taken to make a change. This was opposed by Mr. Spinner. At the 
same time negotiations were opened for a dissolution of the relations 
which had so long existed between the churches at Herkimer and 
German Flats, which was accomplished on the 26th of April, 1841. 
After that date Mr. Spinner confined his attention almost wholly to the 
church at Fort Herkimer. 

" In 1875 the interior of the church building was remodeled at an ex- 
pense of about $7,000, and we owe it mainly to the enterprise and 
liberality of Mr. Consaul that the money for that purpose was obtained 
and the work accomplished which has ever since afforded so much com- 
fort and satisfaction to those who worship within these courts."^ 

The Reformed church is now in a prosperous condition, with a 
thriving Sunday school. Following is a list of its pastors with the 
dates showing their terms of service : 

Rev. Abraham Rosekrants, 1765-9G; Rev. D. Christian A. Pick, 1798-1800; Rev. 
John Peter Spinner, 1801-41 ; Rev. James Murphey, D. D., 1837-42 as colleague of 
Mr. Spinner, and 1843-49; Rev. Cornelius S. Mead, 1849-59; Rev. Hugh Brodie Gard- 
ner, 1860-64 ; Rev. Jeremiah Petrie, 1864-68, as stated supply ; Rev. Gansevoort D. 
W. Consaul, 1869-77 ; Rev. Ralph Watson Brokaw, 1877-82 ; Rev. Henry Miller Cox, 
1882-91; Rev. John G. Gebhard, November, 1891. 

Following are the officers of the church : 

Elders. Henry Churchill, Clarence L. Avery, Abram S. Brush, Edwin B. Mitchell ; 
deacons, Clinton M. Batchelder, George Hessler, John Gettley, Charles H. Burrell, 
Charles B. Morris, George Henderson. 

' Rev. Mr. Cox's history of the church. 


Methodist Episcopal Church. — Methodism in Herkimer dates back to 
1827, when the first class was formed by Revs. John Ercanback and 
Calvin Hawley, who were then preaching in the Herkimer circuit. In 
September, 1832, a legal organization was effected by the election of 
Abijah Osborne (one of the first members), Warren Caswell and 
W. Usher, as trustees. The name was " The Methodist Episcopal 
Church in the Village of Herkimer." This name was changed in 1865 
to "The First Methodist Episcopal Church in the Village of Herkimer." 
The first permanent church edifice was built in 1839, at a cost of 
$1,300, and served its purpose until 1872, when a larger church be- 
came a necessity. The old house, corner of Washington and Green 
streets, was sold to the Catholics, and a building committee was ap- 
pointed consisting of Hon. Warner Miller, chairman ; Zenas Green, 
secretary ; George P. Folts, Charles Barse, lilisha Washburne, Berth- 
waite Patrick, Aaron Snell, Spellman Falk, and Joseph Folts. Under 
their direction and through the generous liberality of the people the 
present beautiful brick church was erected at a cost of $39,000. The 
corner-stone was laid in June, 1873, and the church was dedicated 
April 23, 1874. The following pastors have served the church : 

Joliii Ercanback and Calvin Hawley, 1827 and 1828; Jonathan Worthing and D. H. 
Kingsley, 1829; Jonathan Worthing and Earl Fuller, 1830; Henry Halslead, 1831: 
Allen H. Tilton and Darius Simons, 1832; J. Puffer, H. Chapin and B. Mason, 1833; 
H. Chapin, 1834; E. Wheeler, 1835 and 1836; E. Whipple, 1837 ; Charles H. Austin. 
1838 and 1839; Franklin Hawkins and Stephen H. Fenton, 1840; Eleazer Whipjile 
and A. Blackman, 1841 ; George C. Woodruff, 1842 ; David Chidester and John Thomas, 
1843; John Slee and R . Lewis, 1844 j John Slee, 1845; Jesse Penfield, 1S46 and 1847; 
James E. Downing, 1848 and 1849; EUjah Smith, 1850; Ward I. Hunt, 1851; D. 
Barnard. 1852; J. H. Lamb, 1853 and 1854 ; J. Billings, 1855; C. H. Austin, 1856 and 
1857; James Wells, 1858 and 1859; B. L Diefendorf, 1860; Daniel Fulford, 1801 and 
1862; S. E. Brown, 1863 and 1864; Charles Baldwin, 1865 and 1866 ; William Jones, 
1867-69; Charles T. Moss, 1870 and 1871 ; W. R. Cobb, 1872 and 1873; W. F. Mark- 
ham, 1874-70; S. 0. Barnes, 1877 and 1878-9; W. Dempster Chase, 1880-82 ; Horace 
M. Danforth, 1882-85; Isaac S. Bingham, 1886-91; and Wm. C. Davidson, the present 
pastor. The church membership is nearly 500. 

In connection with this may be properly mentioned the " George P. 
Folts Training School, for home and foreign mission work," which is to 
some extent an outgrowth of this church. Through a generous gift of 
George P. Folts this school is founded at a cost of $45,000, and a hand- 


some building erected in 1892, for the accommodation of about forty 
students, a matron, servants, etc., with conveniences for boarding all 
the inmates. Tlie board of trustees is chosen by the Northern New 
York Conference, and the school is held by them in trust for the church. 
Tuition is free and members of any sect are admitted. 

Protestant Episcopal Church. — On the 26th of January, 1833, a meet- 
ing was held in the school-house and articles of incorporation signed 
for the organization of an Episcopal church in Herkimer. Andrew A. 
Bartow and Frederick Bellinger were chosen wardens, and John Brown, 
Robert Shoemaker, Elias Root, Ira Backus, Flavel Clark, James B. 
Hunt, Simeon Ford and James Ferman, vestrymen. The name of" St. 
Luke's Church, German Flats," was adopted. A futile attempt was 
made to erect a church at the Flats, between the two villages, and the 
society finally united with others in building a union church at Mohawk, 
which was subsequently transferred to the Presbyterians. Services 
were then begun in Herkimer and a new organization was substituted 
for the old one. On the 23d of March, 1839, a meeting was held, 
articles of incorporation were signed and the following officers chosen : 

Andrew A. Bartow and Matthew Myers, wardens ; Charles Kathern, Erwin A. Mun- 
son, Bloomfield Usher, Theodore A. Griswold, Benjamin Barter, Homer Caswell, An- 
son Hall and Robert Ethridge, vestrymen. 

The name adopted was " Christ's Church, Herkimer." Services were 
held for several years in the court-house, in the Methodist church and 
elsewhere. Land was secured and a beginning made to erect a church 
on the site of the Catholic church; but this was given up and a lot 
taken on the corner of Mary and Prospect streets. Here a corner- 
stone was laid by Bishop Onderdonk and a building partly erected ; but 
embarrassments again stopped the work. A new organization was 
effected February 20, 1854, at a meeting presided over by Rev. Owen 
P. Thackara. Byron Laflin and Samuel Earl were chosen wardens, and 
Hubbard H. Morgan, William Howell, jr., Benjamin F.Brooks, Beek- 
man Johnson, George \V. Thompson, Jacob Spooner, Charles Kathern, 
and Elkanah T. Cleland, vestrymen. The former title was retained and 
ground was purchased for a building on July 10, 1854, corner of Main 
and German streets. A contract was made with Alexander Underwood 
for the building of a chapel. The building was consecrated on the 4th 


of October, 1855, by Rt. Rev. Horatio Potter, bishop of the diocese of 
New York, During this period the parish was under charge of Rev. O. 
P. Thaclora, a missionary for the section which embraced this locality. 
During the latter part of his charge he stationed Rev. I. N. Fairbanks 
over this parisli. Mr. Thackara established a large boarding and day 
school, with several teachers. In October, 1857, he resigned his charge 
of this district and shortly afterwards Mr. Fairbanks withdrew. The 
Rev. Marcus N. Perry was then engaged as minister and remained un- 
til October 10, 1858. There were then only thirteen communicants. 
On the 29th of November, 1858, the Rev. J. M. Hedges was called to 
the rectorship and remained until 1861, when he was succeeded on the 
17th of March by Rev. Edward Pidsley. He resigned in the latter 
part of 1862, and Rev. Mr. Hedges, who then lived in Herkimer, offici- 
ated once in two weeks. In September, 1864, Rev. H. G. Wood became 
the rector and during his term of service a school- house and a rectory 
were built adjoining the church. March 8, 1871, Rev. J. D. Morrison 
was called to the church, and was succeeded in August, 1875, by Rev. 
William Bogert Walker, who remained until October, 1S84. The pres- 
ent rector. Rev. Charles C. Edwards, assumed charge of the parish 
January i, 1885. 

Soon after Mr. Edwards's installation a movement was started for 
the building of a new church. On the 1st of July, 1886, the lot on the 
corner of Main and Mary streets was purchased for $5,500. Active 
measures for raising funds were adopted and in August, 1888, the 
vestry ordered the erection of the present edifice after plans by R. W. 
Gibson, of New York. The corner-stone was laid October 1st, 1888, 
and the church was consecrated November 7, 1889. The rectory is a 
part of the church building. This is one of the finest small churches in 
Central New York and cost about $35,000, all of which has been paid. 
Its memorial windows are not surpassed anywhere, two of them costing 
about $2,500, while the interior arrangement of the building is a model 
of harmony and beauty. 

St. Francis de Sales Church. — In October, 1874, tlie Roman Catho- 
lic families of the town, numbering about thirty, joined in the purchase 
of the churcli building on Washington street, formerly occupied by the 
Methodists. It was dedicated on the 9th of June, 1875, ^y Rev. Francis 


McNierney, bishop of Albany, and given its present name. An addi- 
tion was made of forty-two feet in the rear in 1888, for the accommo- 
dation of the growing membership, which is now about 140 families. 
The parsonage was purchased in 1890. The founder of the church was 
Rev. William Howard, then of Ilion, who remained and faithfully 
worked for the upbuilding of his church until 1885, when he was suc- 
ceeded by the present pastor, Rev. J. H. Halpin. Under his effective 
administration the church is flourishing. 

First Baptist Church. — While for a great many years the Baptist 
sect was not numerous in Herkimer, yet there were representatives in 
the town who attended, as a rule, the church at Mohawk. In recent 
years the church at that village declined, which led to the organization 
of a society in Herkimer. This took place on the 17th of February, 
1888, the persons organizing being Dr. E. G. Kern, Alonzo Rust, 
William Goodall, Edgar L. Jackson, and their wives, and Mrs. Mary 
Robinson and her daughter Electa. The first preaching was by George 
B. Lawson, as a supply, while he studied at Hamilton College. Nor- 
man Burd was ordained here and preached as the first regular pastor 
one year. The next pastor was Charles B. Alden, who preached one 
year, while continuing his college studies. The present pastor. Rev. 
W. D. Lukens, came to the church on the 1st of January, 1892. Pre- 
vious to the erection of the church the services were held in the court- 
house and the Y. M. C. A. rooms. The church was erected and dedi- 
cated on the 17th of February, 1890 Its value is about $5,000. The 
present deacons are A. Rust, William Goodall. Superintendent of the 
Sunday-school, E. G. Kern. The membership of the church is seventy- 

Free Methodist Church. — This society was organized in 1881, the 
first pastor being Rev. George Storer. Pastors who have since supplied 
the church have been the Revs. L. H. Robinson, D. J. Santmyre, Mr. 
Carpenter, L. H. Robinson, Mr. Warren, M. S. Babcock, G. S. Coons 
and T. C. Givens. The church is situated on Liberty street, and was 
erected in 1885. The church membership is fifty-two. 

Schools of Herkimer. — Little is known at the present time of the 
very early schools ; but intelligent readers are familiar with the general 
common school system of the State in early times, and the disad- 



vantages surrounding tliose who attempted to secure even a simple 
English education. The first school in the village of Herkimer is said 
to have been taught by a man named Robinson. In the year 1836 the 
meager school accommodations became insufficient, and to meet the 
difficulty a brick school-house was erected on Washington street on the 
site of the present commodious and beautiful Union school building. 
This building served its purpose until 1878, when the present building 
was erected, at a cost, with its appurtenances, of $17,500. Previous to 
1865 the schools were common district schools, but in that year the 
union free school system came into operation. In 1878, when the new 
building was first occupied, a graded school was established. 

Benjamin F. Miller was employed as principal, and the trustees were 
Zenas Green, Ward P. Munson, and Hienry Churchill. Seward D. 
Allen was principal from January, 1880, until H. R. Jolley assumed 
the position in 1882. He was succeeded by Erastus Crosby in 1884, 
and the present principal, A. G. Miller, came in 1887. 

In 1888 a new brick school building was erected in the south di- 
vision, corner of Smith and South Washington streets, at a cost of about 
$16,000. The first school was held there in September of that year. 
Two rooms are also leased in outside buildings for school purposes. 
The present board of trustees are, Ward P. Munson, president ; William 
Witherstine, and E B. Mitchell. Following are the names of the 
teachers for 1892 : 

High School, A. G. Miller, principal; Jean Du Bois, first assistant; Jessie A. Beach, 
second assistant. Grammar School, Margaret Lynch, Finette Bigelow. Intermediate 
Schools — North Division, Alice Baldwin, Clorinda Otis; South Division, Madge Tiiger. 
Primary Schools — North Division, Nellie Enos, Mary E. L3'nch, Nellie S. Kent ; 
South Division, Madge Burns, Emma Lansing, Lina 0. Holmes. Sadie Littlejohn and 
Frances Wilson are also primary teachers employed by the board. 


We have already alluded to some of the early mills, asheries, etc., of 
Herkimer. Besides the usual shops of the blacksmith, the wagonmaker, 
the shoemaker, and the tinner, who were for many years to be found in 
most hamlets, there was very little manufacturing in the county for 
a long time after its settlement, if we exclude the saw-mills and grist- 

'town of HERKIMER. 235 

mills. The West Canada Creek supplies excellent water power at Her- 
kimer village, and its current was utilized for mills at a comparatively 
early day. Soon after the War of 1812 a man named Price built a mill 
within the corporation limits, which was used exclusively for flouring 
purposes. It was afterwards burned and rebuilt, and for a time was 
operated by a Mr Van Home. In the year 181 1 a grist-mill with three 
runs of stone was built on the West Canada Creek about where the Cen- 
tral Railroad crosses it by Windsor Maynard and Simeon Ford ; con- 
nected with the mill was a distillery and saw-mill. This mill subse- 
quently passed to the possession of the Manhattan Company of New 
York, on a mortgage, and that company sold it to the Hydraulic and 
Manufacturing Co. It was subsequently abandoned, and in 1836, after 
the hydraulic canal was built, the mill now operated by E. Washburne 
and G. M. Helmer was erected by F. P. Bellinger. Mr. Washburne 
purchased this mill in 1866 and has continued to operate it ever since. 
It is used now principally for grinding corn. 

A spirit of manufacturing enterprise was developed in Herkimer in 
i8j3, which culminated in the organization of the Herkimer Manufact- 
uring and Hydraulic Company, and its incorporation with a capital of 
$100,000. The principal object of this company was the construction 
of a dam across the West Canada Creek for the production of available 
water power; they intended also to manufacture cotton and woolen 
goods, machinery, sell surplus power, etc. About $40,000 was ex- 
pended in this undertaking, and nearly the whole volume of the creek 
turned into a side canal at a point about two miles up the stream, thus 
gaining a head of thirty- seven feet of water. It was calculated by the 
engineer that this canal would produce power equivalent to what would 
be required to run 138 runs of fifty-four inch mill-stones. While it can 
scarcely be said that this project has met the expectations of its more 
sanguine projectors, yet it has been of great importance to the village, 
and within the past ten years has been still more extensively utilized in 
supplying power to the numerous manufacturing enterprises that have 
been started, to the great benefit of the community. 

On the site of the paper-mill J. B. Morse once carried on the manu- 
facture of hats; but the property was transferred to A. H. Laflin, who 
changed it into a paper-mill. In 1865 the property passed into the 


possession of Warner Miller 8: Co., the company being Henry Churchill, 
sen., and Charles Hutchinson. The establishment afterwards (1875) 
became the Herkimer Paper Company, limited, with Warner Miller as 
president, and Henry Churchill, secretary. The original building 
owned by Mr. Laflin was burned in 1867, and a part of the present mill 
erected. In 1868 Mr. Miller bought the interest of both his associates, 
and on the ist of January, 1869, took in Henry Churchill, jr., the name 
of the company remaining the same. Within the past five years the 
capacity of the mill has been quadrupled and the buildings correspond- 
ingly enlarged. The product is almost wholly newspaper, and about 
sixty hands are employed. 

The Mark Maimfactiiring Company. — This is the largest industry in 
Herkimer and manufactures all kinds of knit goods. The original 
building on the canal near the railroad was erected as a hoop skirt 
factory in 1870. About two years later the manufacture of knit goods 
was begun on a very small scale by Mark & Elias. The business grew 
rapidly and in 1878 additions were made to the buildings. In 1883 
Mr. Mark bought his partner's interest, paying for it a price that indi- 
cated the great value of the industry. He carried on the business 
alone until 1889, when a stock company was formed with Morris Mark, 
president; Robert Earl, vice president; A. K. Marsh, secretary. In 
December, 1891, Mr. Mark purchased Marsh's interest, and James G. 
Johnson became secretary and treasurer. Judge Earl still remaining 
vice president. About 300 hands are now employed in this factoiy, 
and it is a source of great benefit to the place. 

On the site of the Standard Ftirniture Company was formerly the 
sash and blind factory of E. C. Munson. It had still earlier been a 
broomhandle factory and a cheese- box factory. The Standard Com- 
pany began business here in 1886 for the manufacture of typewriter 
cabinets for the Remington people, and roller-top desks. The business 
has grown enormously, with the increase of sales in the tj-jjewriter 
works, while at the same time the desk business has been pushed with 
energy and success. The buildings have been greatly enlarged. The 
members of the company are William Horrocks, president ; M. Foley, 
vice-president ; F. T. Lathrop, treasurer. Water and steam power are 
used and 150 men employed, with 155 in a branch in Kentucky. 


The Gem Knitting Company v/as, formed and began business in 1888, 
using water power, by H. A. Deimel, C. R. Snell, M. A. Deimel, and 
J. H. Evans. The product of the factory is ladies' underwear of cotton 
and wool and 150 hands are employed. 

The Herkimer Manufacturing Company, also situated on the canal, 
was an offshoot of the Bedell Manufacturing Company, in 1881, and 
was started by Deimel & Snell, George E. Bedell, and M A. Deimel. 
Four years later M. A. Deimel and C. R. Snell took its control. Sub- 
sequently the interest of Mr. Bedell and H. A. Deimel was purchased 
by the other members of the company. Spring beds, mattresses, fancy 
chairs, etc., are made, and about forty hands employed. 

The prominent woodworking establishments of the town are the sash, 
door and blind factories of Deimel & Snell, and W. D. Lyons. 

In the spring of 1871 H. M. Quackenbush began the manufacture on 
Prospect street, in a small frame building, of toy air pistols under his 
own patents. The demand for his goods was prompt and large, and in 
the fall of that year he removed into a larger building and put in steam 
power. In the summer of 1874 he was forced to make another enlarge- 
ment, and a building was erected on the opposite side of the street. 
The first articles manufactured were followed by the Eureka .scroll saw 
and in 1876 by the improved air rifle, both of which have an enormous 
sale. In 1877 he erected a two- story brick building and put in a 
thirty-horse engine In 1890 he built his present factory, which is one 
of the most complete and convenient industrial buildings to be found 
anywhere. Eighty men are employed and a seventy-five horse Corliss 
engine supplies the power. The safety cartridge rifle and an amateur 
lathe have been added, among other articles, to the output. It is one 
of the most thriving industries in Central New York. 

Charles A. Lee began making chairs under his own patents in 1889, 
in a small way, employing three men. His patents cover valuable im- 
provements in reclining and platform rockers. In 1891 he removed to 
his present factory and now employs twenty hands. His chairs are 
shipped throughout the country. 

Banks. — Herkimer has suffered from several bank failures ; but they 
were not due to any financial stress of a general character. The 
county and the village being largely dependent upon agriculture as a 


source of wealth, the failures incident to mercantile and manufacturing 
operations have not been numerous ; while the communities have 
passed through the great periods of financial panic which caused wide- 
spread ruin in large commercial centers, almost unscathed. The first 
bank in Herkimer was called the Agricultural Bank, and began business 
in 1839, just after the panic of 1837-8, with Harvey Doolittle as presi- 
dent, and Gen. P. F. Bellinger cashier. In 1845 ^^^- Bellinger left the 
bank and Benjamin Carver was made president ; C. T. E. Van Horn, 
vice-president; Harvey Doolittle, cashier. This bank failed in 1857, 
through causes that need not be explained here; but some of the losses 
were grevious ones and resulted in prolonged litigation. 

The Bellinger Bank carried on business a few years after the failure 
of the Agricultural. Peter F. Bellinger was president and H. Bellin- 
ger cashier. It closed its affairs in 1866. Then followed the Messinger 
Bank, which was one of several started by Hiram J. Messinger, then of 
New York ; it was organized in the fall of 1867, «*nd went down in the 
general crash of all of Messinger's institutions in May, 1868. 

Herkimer Bank. — This institution was established many years ago 
as a private bank, but was organized under a charter under the 
State banking laws in 1885. The present executive officers (1892) 
are as follow : 

President, William Smitli; vice-president, J. AV. Vrooman ; cashier, W. I. Taber ; 
and Robert Earl 2d, assistant cashier. The board of directors consists of Messrs. 
William Smith, H. M. Quackenbush, C. W. Palmer. Hon. Robert Earl, W. W. Mosher, 
B. Washburn, Morris Mark, J. W. Vrooman, E. S. W. Thomson, C. E. Snyder, E. M. 
Burns, L. T. Du Bois, P. B. Myers. 

The following summary giving an idea of the business is taken 
from the statement of March 19, 1892: Capital, $75,000; surp»lus, 
$10,000; deposits, $223,860.20; loans and discounts, $256,636.86, and 
total resources, $325,104.10. The management has been character- 
ized by a conservative regard for the interest of its customers, which 
fact has gained for the bank a well founded faith in the financial 
strength and influence of its recognized vocation for usefulness. 

First National Bank. — This bank was organized by H. G. Munger, 
Henry Churchill, P. M. Wood and others, in 1884. Among the 
stockholders are many of the leading business men and capitalists of this 
county. The capital stock is $50,000. Henry Churchill was chosen 


president of the bank upon its organization and has discharged the 
duties of the office to the entire satisfaction of the stockholders ever 
since. The same may be said of A. W. Haslehurst, who has been 
cashier of the bank from the beginning. The statement of the bank 
dated May 17, 1892, shows surplus and undivided profits of more 
than $20,000, and individual deposits of $224,21 1.29. The board of 
directors, 1892, is as follows: Henry Churchill, H. G. Munger, C. R. 
Snell, George P. Folts, R H. Smith, G. H. Watson, A. W. Haslehurst. 
The bank was placed in its present handsome and convenient 
quarters on Main street in July, 1891. 

The Herkimer Press. — The character of the press of any community 
is an indication of its intelligence and enterprise. The progressive vil- 
lage or city always gives its newspapers liberal support, and as a result, 
the papers are made, as a rule, worthy of such support. The first news- 
paper in Herkimer county was published at Herkimer village very early 
in the present century, and was called the Telescope ; its proprietor was 
Benjamin Cory, and it supported the Federal party. Mr. Cory sold out 
in 1805 to David Holt and J. R. Robins, who changed the name of the 
paper, or started a new one under the title of the Farmer's Monitor, 
which was discontinued in 1807. Mr. Cory started another paper in the 
interest of the Federal party, which he published until 18 10. 

In January, 18 10, J. H. and H. Prentiss started the Herkimer Ameri- 
can, which was published by them several years, and until 183 i by other 
persons, William L. Stone being at one time a partner. In December, 
1813, Thurlow Weed obtained employment in the office of this paper, 
being a "jealous Republican." (See page 2)1,, Life of Thurlow Weed, 
Vol. 1.) Edward P. Seymour was its last publisher. 

A paper called the Bitnker Hi/l was commenced some time in 1810, 
with G. G. Phinney at its helm. Mr. Phinney also published a paper 
called the T/ie Honest American about the year 18 12. Both of these 
journals died before 1821. 

In 1828 the Herkimer Herald made its appearance under direction of 
John Carpenter, and was devoted to the interest of General Jackson and 
his policy. Then followed the Republican Farmer s Free Press, an anti- 
Masonic paper, printed by David Holt and edited by B. B. Hotchkin. 
Its life was not much longer than its name. 


The Herkimer County Journal wa^s started in December, 1837, ^s a 
Whig organ. It was owned by a company, and at first was edited at 
Herkimer by J. C. Underwood and printed by Edward P. Seymour. 
About a year later O. A. Bowe took charge of the paper and pubHshed 
it six years. During various periods it was edited by R. U. Sherman 
G. W. Smith, and A. H. Prescott. In 1849 Orlando Squires took 
charge of the paper and removed it to Little F"alls. 

In the fall of 1842, J. M. Lyon and W. B. Holmes started \.he Frnnk- 
fort Democrat, at Frankfort, which was afterwards removed to Herkimer 
village. In 1848 Judge Earl became the sole proprietor and editor of 
the paper. In 1850 C. C. Witherstine acquired an interest in the estab- 
lishment, and in March, 1854, became its sole proprietor. In Septem- 
ber of the same year Jacob Hayes was associated with Mr. Witherstine. 
and the firm was Witherstine & Hayes until the death of the latter in 
1856. In June, 1859, the paper passed from possession of IMr. Wither- 
stine to Henry G. Crouch, who continued to publish it until 1864, Mr. 
Witherstine in the interim being engaged in the West. In the year last 
named Mr. Witherstine returned and again became the owner of the 
establishment. In May, 1856, the Z////^/^a//.y Crt^^//^ was merged with 
the Democrat and the name changed to the Herkimer Democrat and 
Little Falls Gacette, un\.\\ the fall of 1876, when the clumsy title was 
changed back as before to the Herkimer Democrat. In October, 1875, 
H. P. Witherstine was given an interest in the establishment and in 1880 
the firm name was changed to H. P. Witherstine & Co., the same per- 
sons constituting the firm. Januarj' 4, 1892, C. C. Witherstine sold his 
interest to John M. Comings, who, with H. P. Witherstine, still publishes 
the paper. With the exception noted, C. C. Witherstine was connected 
with this journal for fifty years and is one of the oldest journalists, in 
point of continuous service, in Central New York. His son has devel- 
oped a peculiar aptitude for the publishing business, while his partner 
has already acquired valuable experience in the same direction as editor 
of the Petin Van Democrat. Under their management the Democrat 
wields a large influence among the intelligent people of this and ad- 
joining counties. 

The Herkimer Citizen was started September 30, 1884, by George 
W. Weaver and Charles S. Munger. This continued until January 1, 



1889, when A. T. Smith and F. E. Easton purchased Mr. Weaver's 
interest in the Ilion Citisen and Herkiinej- Citizen, and they, with C. S. 
Hunger, formed the Citizen Publishing Company. The papers are both 
printed at Ilion, with a job printing office at Herkimer. The paper is 
Republican in politics and is an excellent journal. Mr. Hunger had 
e.xperience in the office of the Camden Journal, where he succeeded his 
father. Messrs. Easton and Smith left the county clerk's office after 
many years' service, to take up the publishing business. (See history 
of Ilion.) 

The Herkimer County Record \s a new paper started in 1888, by its 
present publisher, George W. Nellis, jr. The Record is an enterprising 
paper, independent in politics, and has attained a good circulation. 

Hotels. — In the old staging days hotels in country villages, and along 
the turnpikes, possessed a degree of importance to traveling men that 
can hardly be accorded them at the present time. In these days, if 
every hotel in half a dozen villages on the line of a railroad were simul- 
taneously burned, the traveler could still stay another hour in the train 
and reach a farther station where he would find accommodations. 
Such a calamity happening when the stage or the canal was the best 
mode of travel, would have caused great inconvenience. 

One of the important houses on the old Mohawk turnpike is still re- 
membered as the Talcott House in Herkimer, which at first was built 
of logs, and stood near the site of the present paper-mill. Good au- 
thority credits this with being the first public hotel in Herkimer county. 
When the original house became too small to accommodate the in- 
creasing number of guests, the proprietor built a more commodious 
structure at a point where the bridge crosses the canal below the paper- 
mill. When this site eventually became inconvenient, the proprietor 
built another house on Main street, which now constitutes the south 
end of the Mansion House (long known as the Popper House). The 
Hansion House is now kept by F. W. Eckle. 

The Waverly House on Main street, now kept by H. Edick, for- 
merly of the Edick House, near the Central Railroad station, stands on 
the site of an old tavern. What was long known as the Tower House, 
stands across from the railroad station, and received its name from J. C. 
Tower who long kept it. It was afterwards called the Edick House 



and was bought in 1892 by John Nelson, who has greatly improved it. 
A short distance east of this hotel stands the Allman House, of brick, 
kept by Theodore Allman. Mr. Allman built this house in 1875. It 
stands also on the site of a former hotel. 

In 1 891 the Palmer House was erected by C. W. Palmer. It is 
not only one of the handsomest structures in the village of Herkimer, 
but is admirably designed on modern ideas for a first-class hotel. It is 
kept by George A. May, and is thoroughly well managed. 

Herkimer Post-office. — John A. Rasbach was one of the early post- 
masters at Herkimer, and was succeeded by Harvey Doolittle in 1840. 
Mr. Rasbach had the office another term and was succeeded by James 
A. Suiter, who served under General Taylor's administration. Mr. 
Suiter was succeeded by H. H. Morgan, who held the office eight years, 
and was succeeded in 1861 by Warren Caswell. He held the office un- 
til the appointment of F. A. Gray, who for two years preceded the 
present incumbent, S. W. Stimson, who assumed the office July i, 1889. 


THP2 town of Little Falls was set off from the towns of Herkimer, 
Fairfield, and German Flats in pursuance to an act of the Legislature, 
passed February 16, 1829. On account of its comparatively recent 
formation, therefore, the history of the town organization must neces- 
sarily be brief and relatively unimportant. The town embraces parts 
of Glen's purchase, Staley's first tract, Guy Johnson's tract, Vaughn's 
and Fall Hill patents, six lots in Burnetsfield, and small triangular 
pieces of L'Hommedieu's and Lindsay's patents. The town was sur- 
veyed by William De Wolf, of the town of Columbia, and the follow- 
ing described boundaries given to it : " Beginning on the middle or 
base line of Glen's purchase, at a point where the line between lots 
numbers five and six in said purchase unites with said base or middle 
line, and running thence south along said line to its southern termina- 

".-■ "fyF-GiC!min,N-Y 


tion ; thence on the same course continued to the south bounds of the 
town of German Flats ; thence along the south bounds of said town to 
the southeast corner thereof; thence along the eastern bounds of the 
towns of German Flats and Herkimer to the southeast corner of the 
town of Fairfield ; and from thence by a straight Hne to the place of 

In common with other portions of the Mohawk valley in Herkimer 
county, this town was first settled by Germans long previous to the 
Revolution. Mr. Benton says: "There were German inhabitants in 
nearly every direction around the present village [of Little Falls] be- 
fore the Revolution, but only one habitable dwelling and a grist-mill 
within the present corporation limits." (See map.) The dwelling men- 
tioned stood on the west side of Furnace street and near Elizabeth 
street, north of the old canal. It was occupied in early years by John 
Porteous, the Scotch pioneer. It was removed by the late William 
I. Skinner and converted into an ice-house. Most of these early Ger- 
man settlers have been sufficiently noticed in the preceding general 
history, and in the histories of the towns from which Little Falls was 
formed ; and others will be mentioned a little further on in the history 
of the village. 

The first town meeting was held at the house of Robert Hinchman, 
on the site of the present Hardin & Wheeler block, on the south side 
of Main street, in 1829, and the following officers were elected : 

George Petrie, supervisor; Richard N. Casler, town clerk; G-ardeus Deyor, Jolin 
Klocls, Leonard Eaton and Richard M. Casler, assessors; James T. Rankins, Jacob 
Petrie and Parley Eaton, commissioners of highways; Thomas Smith, overseer of 
poor; Calvm G. Carpenter, Solomon Petrie and Bernard L Wager, commissioners of 
common schools ; Walter H. Ward, Calvin W. Smith and Jacob Guywitts, inspectors 
of common schools; John McMitchell, collector; Richard Winsor, John Phillips, John 
MoMitchell, Daniel Dygert, Joseph Eysaman, John Eaton, Peter Van Vost, Shired 
Vincent and Jacob Osburn, constables ; Martin Easterbrook, Adam Petrie, Bernard I, 
Wager, William Sponenburg, and John I. Bellinger, poundkeepers. 

The commissioners of highways appointed the following overseers of 
highways : 

John Casler, John C. Bellinger, Jeremiah Pulver, Cornelius Skinkle, Nathan Russ, 
Melchert Rankins, John Christman, John I. Bellinger, Thomas Rankins, Samuel S. 
Boyce, Jacob Bellinger, John Bort, Robert Johns, Morgan E. Case, Charles Smith, An- 
drew G. Weatherwa.x, Benjamin P. Churchill, John Tucker, William Bucklin, Benja- 
min C. Weatherwax and George Harter. 


These lists contain the names of aiany of the early families of the 

On the 5th day of May, 1829, the following persons made applica- 
tion for license to keep public houses in this town, nearlj' or quite all of 
them being in the village: Thomas S. Willard, Peter Walrath, Robert 
Hincliman, Isaac Churchill, Leonard Eaton, and William Sponenburg. 
The commissioners of excise were George Petrie, C. P. Bellinger, and 
William Brooks. 

The principal occupation of the farming community, particularly 
during the past fifty years, has been dairying, which finally resulted in 
the establishment of the celebrated market at Little Falls village, now 
one of the most important interior markets for the sale of dairy products 
in the world. As a cheese producing district Little Falls ranks among 
the best in the country, and the fact that this industry found its local 
center here was largely due to a resident of this town, the late X. A. 
Willard, whose writings on the subject have a national reputation. 
Sketches of many of the leading farmers and others of the town are 
given in a later department of this volume. 

The surface of this town is broken upland, divided by the deep, nar- 
row gorge of the Mohawk River. A range of hills extends north and 
south from the village, rocky and precipitous near the river, but less 
rugged on the north and south borders. The soil is a sandy and grav- 
elly loam, is well watered, and quite well adapted to grazing. 

In connection with the agricultural interests of this town, the Little 
Falls Grange, Patrons of Hasbandry, should receive due credit. It was 
organized in December, 1889, with thirty- five charter members, and is 
now the largest grange in the county, numbering about two hundred 
members. Its object is the general advancement of agriculture in all 
its branches ; the social, fraternal and educational uplifting of its mem- 
bers, and the uniting and harmonizing of the agricultural classes. The 
officers of the grange are : Philo W. Casler, master ; Richard L. Ran- 
kins, overseer ; Joseph Rice, lecturer ; George H. Bradford, secretary. 

Following is the list of supervisors of Little Falls from the organiza- 
tion of the town to the present time : 

George Petrie, 1S29, '30 ; Solomon Petrie, 183], '32; Peter B. Casler, 1833, '34; 
George H. Feeler, 1835, '36 ; Abraham G. Rosecrantz, 1837, '38; Jacob Petrie, 1839, 

Town of little palls. 


'40 ; William L Skinner, 1841, '42 ; Charles Belong, 1843, '44 ; Richard N. Casler, 1845, 
'46; Jorara Petrie, 1847; James Moyer, 1848; Harvey D. Colvin, 1849-54; Henry 
Thompson, 1855; Edmund G. Chapman, 1856; Sylvenus J. Waters, 1857-59; Leonard 
Boy. r. 1860-62; Zenas C. Priest, 1863-06; George Keller, 1867-69; Peter A. Star- 
ing, 1870-72; Albert Story, 1873; John P. Sharer, 1874-81; Rugene Walrath, 1882- 
88; Hadley Jones. 1889; Joseph W. Baker, 1890, '91 ; Benton I. Cooper, 1892. 


The lands on the south side of the Mohawk River on the site of Lit- 
tle Falls village are a part of the patent granted in 1752 to Jchan Joost 
Herchkeinier (as spelled in the records) and one other person, and known 

as the Fall Hill patent. The lands on the north side of the river are 
embraced in Burnetsfield patent granted in 1725 to Johan Joost Petrie 
and other Palatines, while those lands farther back in the town are cov- 
ered by the patents before mentioned. 

The site of the village was evidently not adapted by nature for the 
purpose to which it has been devoted by man, unless we consider it 
solely from an esthetic standpoinL The Mohawk River breaking through 


wh;it was once a mountainous barrier of rock, has created a deep gorge 
with precipitous sides, at the bottom of which the clear waters of the 
historic stream rush and tumble over rapids, the power of which has 
been utilized to turn scores of wheels and which have really led to the 
founding of the village in such a romantic spot. As a consequence of 
this unfavorable natural condition, the village has been forced to expend 
a vast amount of money and energy in the creation of streets, bridges, 
and other public improvements ; but these obstacles have been boldly 
met by the inhabitants, and through their well-directed efforts the 
village has grown into one of large proportions and picturesque beauty 
not often found. 

Of the first days of the village Mr. Benton wrote as follows: 

" The grist-mill destroyed during the Revolution was located on the river near the 
bed of the old canal, and was fed by Furnace Creek and the river. The dwelling house 
(mentioned below) was occupied by John Porteous, proprietor of the mill, and his 
assistants, and probably afterward by persons occupied at the carrying-place. Tlie 
road or path used for taking boats and their cargoes by the river falls was located very 
nearly on the site of the old canal. The red grist-mill, to supply the place of the one 
destroyed, was erected in 1789, and the old yellow house west of Furnace Creek and 
near the north bank of the old canal, was built a short time before that period. John 
Porteous came to this place in 1790 and established himself in mercantile business. 
He occupied the yellow house, then the only dwelling within the present village 

The old octagon church, a description of which is given a little 
further on, was erected in 1796. 

The destruction of the little settlement at Little Falls in June, 1782, 
was caused by a party of Indians and tories, and was of the same 
wanton and fiendish character which marked many other similar out- 
rages committed in the valley. The mill was of great importance, not 
only to the immediate vicinity, but to the garrisons at Forts Herkimer 
and Dayton. The enemy fell upon the mill in the night and found in 
the building Peter WoUeaver, Christian Edick, Frederick Getnian, 
Marks Rasbach, Thomas Shoemaker, Lawrence Hatter, Jacob Petri, 
Daniel Petri (wlio was killed), and Peter Orendorff; Gershom Skinner 
and F. Cox, who were millers ; and a sergeant and six men from Cap- 
tain McGregor's company. Two of the soldiers escaped and five were 
taken prisoners. There does not seem to have been much resistance 


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oflered to tlie assault. In the few shots fired, Daniel Petri was killed. 
When the Indians entered the mill the occupants made their best efforts 
to escape. Cox and Skinner secreted themselves in the raceway, under 
the water wheel, and thus escaped captivity and probably death. 
Christian Edick and Frederick Getman jumped into the raceway, but 
the light from the burning mill disclosed their hiding place and they 
were captured. 

Among the persons who settled at Little Falls between 1790 and 
1 8 10 and remained permanently were, John Porteous, William Alex- 
ander, Richard Phillips, Thomas Smith, Joel Lankton, Richard Winsor, 
William Carr, William Moralee, Washington Britton, Alpheus Park- 
hurst, John Drunimond, Eben Britton, and Josiah Skinner. In this 
connection the accompanying map and explanation are of deep interest. 
The map is the property of Watts T. Loomis, and the references were 
furnished by him after much research. 

The accompanying map, left among the papers of John Porteous, the 
pioneer of Little Falls (now in possession of William G. Milligan), 
shows the lands acquired by Mr, Porteous, and other interesting feat- 
ures. Other documents left by him show that he came from Perth, 
Scotland, in 1761. He passed about ten years in the Indian trade in 
the vicinity of Detroit, and later was in business in New York until 
1783. He then went to Nova Scotia, where he had acquired land, and 
in 1784 returned to Scotland. A \'ear later he came again to New 
York, went again to Nova Scotia and soon after became connected with 
Alexander EUice and settled at Little Falls about 1790. Here he built 
the red mill on the site of the first mill, and other structures, was active 
in the construction of the first canal and in making early roads and 
bridges. He was supervisor of the town of Herkimer in 1791-96 and 
conspicuous in all affairs of that period. He was grandfather of Mrs. 
William G. Milligan. Mr. Milligan placed in the hands of the late 
Dudley Burwell some years ago a mass of the papers of Mr. Porteous, 
for his investigation. In 1873 Mr. Burwell reported to Mr. Milligan 
what he had found of interest. He said among other things: "I 
think he [Mr. Porteous] was somewhat musical, as he had a violin. He 
seemed to have read many books and to have profited by them. From 
the letters addressed to him, one judges that he was very amiable. He 

£!>t^ .'^byV- i^JCi r 


■i^ /^^ vC<i^^ 

/''^^ i^ ^ ^^^i 


dressed genteelly, judging from his wardrobe — swore terrifically — en- 
tertained itinerant preachers, drank toddies, etc. He died t!ie 20th of 

March, 1799" He left a will appointing Colonel Hendrick Frey and 
William Alexander (who married his daughter) his executors. 


William Alexander was a native of Schenectady and settled at Little 
Falls soon after Mr. Porteous, at whose instance he became a clerk, and 
was several years connected with him in business. He was an intelli- 
gent and honorable merchant and labored for the growth of the place. 
He married a daughter of Mr. Porteous, a highly educated and accom- 
plished young lady, and died January 13, 181 3. William Alexander 
left a daughter, Mary Porteous Alejjander, who married first a Mr. 
Bowen, and second Robert Lockwood, of Little Falls. William's son, 
Henry P., was a merchant and president of the Herkimer County Bank. 
He was a partner of William Girvan several years, and died February 
22, 1867. His son Porteous was drowned young, and William second 
died many years ago. His daughter, Jane G., married Jesse C. Dann ; 
Catharine M. married Frederick Lansing, of Little Falls, who was a 
prominent merchant and at one period agent of the Ellice property. 

Following William Alexander, came here his brothers, Robert, John 
and James. Robert was a farmer of the town of Fairfield, and father of 
Robert, \\ iliiam, Samuel H. and James, and had two daughters, Jane 
and Catharine. Descendants of this branch still live in Little Falls. 

John Alexander had a son Thomas. The former was a merchant on 
the site of the Cronkhite Opera House. He died in Little Falls. James 
Alexander removed west and became wealthy. 

William Girvan, early a prominent citizen of Little Falls, married 
the widow of William Alexander. He was a native of Scotland and 
came here as clerk for William Alexander, who was his cousin. After 
the death of Mr. Alexander (1813) Mr. Girvan carried on mercantile 
business in Little Falls for many years. His children by the widow of 
Mr. Alexander were Charles A., deceased ; Elizabeth Ann, who became 
the wife of William G. Milligan and is deceased. Mr. Girvan married 
second Mrs. Mary Milligan, widow of William Kerr Milligan, father 
of William G. Milligan and they had children : Mary, living and un- 
married ; George Frederick, living in Little Falls ; Edward, living in 
Lowville, N. Y. ; Agnes, married Charles E. Teal, of Little Falls ; and 
Catharine, married George Hewison, of New York. 

Eben and Washington Britton were brothers and came from West- 
moreland, N. H. Eben settled here in 1792, was a tanner for many 
years and died August 28, 1832, leaving him surviving: Mary, who 


intermarried with a Mr. Hannas ; Sarah, married Judge N. S. Benton ; 
another daughter, who became the wife of Judge Elisha P. Hurlbut ; 
Rebecca, married Harmon Ten Eyck and is Hving in Albany; Susan, 
married Henry McKay, an early merchant of Little Falls. Mr. Britton 
was owner of the Girvan House site. Skinner Opera House site, the 
Milligan & Wheeler block site and other lands, which were devised to 
his children. Washington Britton died many years earlier. 

William Feeter (formerly Veeder) was one of a family who, with the 
exception of himself, followed Sir John Johnson to Canada. He was 
an ardent patriot in the Revolution, soon after which he settled in Little 
Falls, cleared a large farm and successfully cultivated it more than 
fifty years. He had a family of five sons and seven daughters and his 
descendants are still residents of the town and county. He died May 
5, 1844. 

Down to the year 1800 the village of Little Falls had shown little prog- 
ress. Rev. Caleb Alexander made a missionary tour through the State 
in 1 801 and here is what he wrote of this place : 

November, 1801. — Monday 23d, set out from Fairfield on ray journey homewards. 
Cold weather. Rode .south seven miles to the Little Falls with a view of taking a boat 
at falls down the river to Schenectady. Found the river covered with ice ; then rode up 
the river seven miles to German Flats to take the stage. Finding that the stage did not 
run until to-morrow I crossed the Mohawk to Herkimer Court-house, two miles. 
Around the Little Falls the country is hilly and very rocky near the river. On the 
northern bank are seven locks and a canal for the conveyance of boats. Here is a vil- 
lage of forty houses, several merchant stores, mechanical shops and a new meeting- 
house of hexagonal construction. The people are principally English and they seldom 
have preaching. The place abounds in vice, especially profanity. Since my arrival on 
the river I have heard more cursing and swearing, horrid oaths and imprecations than 
in ten years past. They fell chiefly from the lips of boatmen [on the riverj. In some 
taverns were English and Dutch farmers drinking and swearing, and the English 
appeared to be the most abandoned. They regard not the presence of a clergyman, for 
the dominie drinks and swears as much as the common people. 

It is proper at this point to speak of the titles to real property in Lit- 
tle Falls, which were for many years in a peculiar and somewhat un- 
fortunate condition. Alexander Ellice, a Scotch merchant, who had 
been friendly with Sir William Johnson, obtained a patent, through the 
influence of the baronet, to two of the four Burnetsfield lots on the north 
side of the river, and to the whole of Vaughn's patent, granted to Col. 


John Vaughn in 1770. The titles to the latter, according to Mr. Benton, 
were derived through John Porteous, before mentioned. The same 
authority says: " One of the two lots 12 and 13 Burnetsfield, embrac- 
ing ail of the water power on the north side of the river, was owned, 
before the Revolution by one of the Petrie family, who erected the first 
grist-mill on Furnace Creek and was engaged in the carrying business." 
Alexander Ellice died about the year 1808 and his property descended 
to his children. Among them was Edward Ellice, who purchased the 
shares of the other heirs, and continued the owner of the property here 
until 1 83 1. The policy adopted by the elder Ellice to secure a revenue 
was peculiarly English, was successful for his interests, and paralyzing 
to advancement at Little Falls. It consisted in a steadfast refusal to sell 
either lands or water power, and to insist on leases of the same, gener- 
ally for long periods. The efifect of such a policy upon an American 
town and American energy may be readily inferred. Men of means 
and brains in this country are unwilling to make improvements upon 
lands they do not own — absolutely — however long a lease or how low a 
rate of rental may be demanded. Hence, while the unrivaled water 
power could and did prove sufficient attraction to some enterprising 
men (as amply shown in the account of the early manufacturing opera- 
tions a few pages further on), there still existed for many years, and until 
the Ellice title was extinguished, a sense of insecurity that put the place 
back a quarter of a century. Barent and John R Bleecker, of Albany, 
were for many years the agents direct of the Ellice estate, and in Little 
Falls George H. Feeter acted as agent for the Bleeckers for a consider- 
able period. It was not a very enviable office, all things considered. 
The agent, in order to do justice by his employers, was often forced in- 
to antagonism with his fellow-citizens. Up to the year 1825 there were 
some seventy or eighty lots let on what were termed " durable leases " 
to fifteen or twenty individuals. The leases were in perpetuity and for 
each lot 60 x lOO feet in area, a rental of three Spanish milled dollars 
a year was charged. In the earliest of these leases was a clause pro- 
hibiting the establishment of stores for the sale of goods, this business 
being reserved as a perquisite for the benefit of Ellice's agents. The 
water power was also held under restriction, and would be neither sold 
nor let. The Ellices owned the grist-mill and saw-mill, which they 


leased for a large price, and wanted no competitors. This policy could 
not be otherwise than detrimental to the growth of the village. In later 
years, however (about 1820), a lease was granted for a site for a fulling- 
mill, and in 1824, another to Sprague & Dann for a paper mill, both on 
what is now Mill street ; these manufactures and others are described a 
little further on. In 1825 a few dwelling sites were sold — one to San- 
ders Lansing, one to Nathaniel S. Benton, and one to David Petrie ; and 
occasional lots were sold from that time onward. Most of the early 
lessees had several lots. The principal proprietors before the year 1825 
were Eben Britton, Thomas Gould, Thomas Smith, Robert Hinchman, 
Samuel Smith, Solomon Lockwood, the heirs of William and John 
Ale.x-ander, and those of John Pr'otheroe and William Morallee. The 
accompanying map shows the condition of the early village, its streets, 
and the lessees of many of the lots. This map is also the property of 
Watts T. Loomis. 

The Ellice titles were almost wholly extinguished in i83i,as indi- 
cated on the accompanying map, showing leased and sold lots and the 
names of many of the owners. This map was made in 1831 for Peter 
Gansevoort, James Stevenson, Charles L. Livingston, Mordecai Myers, 
James Monroe, Aaron Remer, and John H. Webb. The lots printed 
black in the engraving indicate those that had been leased or sold by 
the Ellice interest. Those printed white had come into possession of 
the above named proprietors. Of these white lots, sales had been 
made at the time the map was drawn (1831) to the following persons 
who had bought the numbers accompanying their names: 

Lot.'; 53-54, to P. Eaton. 55, J. Petrie, 56-81-84-86-87, Lansing. 57-82-83, 

B. Galloon. 58-59, Dr. Green. 60-61-62, D. Burwell. 63-64, Shepard. 65 to 

68 inclusive and 73-76-77, C. Sharer. 74-75, Mordecai Meyers. 72, Peak. 78- 

79, and 15.5-6-7, Ann street, Parley Eaton. 88-89, and 59 Church street, James 
Monroe. 90 to 93 inclusive, Solomon Petrie. 98 and 58 on Church street, Peter 
Gausevoort. 7 Third street, and No. 3, corner John and Fourth street, and C and D 
John street, C. L. Livingston. 5 Third street, B and F John street, 161 Church street, 
A. Loomis. 3 Third street, A. Case; 4, corner of Third and John street, Mcin- 
tosh. 153-2 Ann street, Beardsley. 154 Ann, James Monroe; also 168-9 south 

side of John. 170-71 John, John H. Webb. 172, 178-9, 183-84 John, Aaron Remer. 
174-5, John K. Bremner. -176-7 John, C. L. Livingston. 182, John C. Sharer. 13- 

17-19, north side of John, Stevens, 21, nortli side of John, James Monroe. 

28-29, John, H. P. Alexander. 45-47 John, and 41-42-44 and 40 Albany, D. Burwell. 


48 All)any, J.,H. Webb. 50 Albany, A. Remer. 17-19 Alljany, north side and ]i .",, 
corner of William and Albany, Peter Gansevoort. 166-7 Albany, A. Remer. 38 run- 
ning through from Albany to Catherine (now Main), B. Lewis. 39 Albany, C. B. 
Griffin. 40 Albany, Robert Stewart. 35 Main, A. Loomis. 36 Main, John H. Webli. 

9- 10-'_>9-l 9-20-21 and 115. Bromner. IIC Garden, M. Myers. 122 Garden. J, II. 

Webb. 27 Garden, John Dygert. 13-14-15 Garden, Burwell & Alexander. 

Mr Benton wrote: " The paralyzing policy of the proprietor, who 
was an alien, in limiting his alienations to leases in fee, requiring an 
annual rent, and refusing to make only a few grants of that description, 
to whicli he affixed the most stringent conditions and restrictions in the 
exercise of trade and the improvement of the water power, kept the 
place nearly stationary until 1831, excepting that part of the present 
village on the south side of the river, not subject to the dead weight of 
non-alienation. Upon the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, the only 
erections in that part of the village were a bridge, and a toll house at 
the south end of the bridge; the Bellinger grist-mill and a small dwell- 
ing, for the miller's residence, and the Vrooman house." As bearing 
upon the condition of the village just before the completion of the canal, 
we quote as follows from the People s Friend, one of the early news- 
papers of the village, under date of June 19, 1822 : 

•'This [inland navigation] has become a pleasant subject. The general liveline ■ 
which has prevailed on our streets since the commencement of the regular trips of ti 
packets between tlii.'i and Utica is really cheering. But the interest of the thing is 1 
no means confined to these: an unaccountable number of other boats of various fern 
and dimen-sions continue to crowd both the river and Erie Canal. On the IGlh, we a; 
told, thirty boats were together on the river at the landing place half a mile aboM' 
Little Falls, while a number more lay in the canal close by." 

In 1 83 I, as before noted, Edward Ellice sold out his real estate here, 
and within a few years it came into possession of Richard R. Ward and 
James Munroe, of New York, but not as joint owners. No sale of the 
water power in separate lots or privileges was made before Mr. Ward 
became the sole owner of all that portion of the original purchase of Mr. 
Ellice. When these were brought into market, General Bellinger, the 
principal owner of the water power on the south side of the river, 
also placed his property in market and numerous mills, factories and 
other industries were soon established, as shown further on. In 1830 
the population of the town was 2,539, about 1,700 of which were with- 
in the village limits. 


Meanwhile, in 1811, a village charter was granted; but there seem 
to be no records of public business under that charter, the existing 
records beginning with the year 1827, when a new, or amended charter 
was adopted. Under this the corporation was authorized to open 
streets which had been dedicated to public use, as laid down on a map 
made by the proprietor in 181 1. Mr. Benton says : 

The power given was executed in the first instance, by opening Albany, Garden and 
Second streets, at the expense of the owners of the adjoining lots. This touched the 
proprietor's purse, and he consented to sell in fee the lots on those streets. This, how- 
ever, did not reach the water power, which was not improved, neither would the pro- 
prietors on either side of the river consent to sell lots and water rights, but the alien 
owner adopted the plan of making short leases, by which he anticipated a rich harvest 
on the falUng in of the reversions. The people of the village were not slow to per- 
ceive the fatal effects of this policy, and applied to the Legislature for the passage of 
an act to prohibit the alien proprietor from making any grants or leases, except in fee. 
These were the conditions on which he was authorized to take, hold and convey lands 
in this State. The act passed the Senate at the session of 1831, and was sent to the 
Assembly for concurrence. The agents offered to sell the whole proprietary interest in 
the village for $50,C00, and active negotiations were set on foot by several parties to 
make the purchase. The bill was finally acted upon in the House, and rejected. Al- 
most simultaneous with that rejection, the sale was effected to several members of that 
body and other parties, and the purchasers in a short time realizad a net $50,000 on 
their purchase, or very nearly that sum. Whether there was any connection between 
the defeat of tne bill, and the sale, I never sought to know. The sale accomplished all 
that the village desired, because we believed the purchasers had bought with the in- 
tention of selling out, as fast as they could ; but the proprietor, Mr. EUice, had a large 
interest at stake ; he was the owner of other considerable tracts of land, not only in 
this county, but in different parts of the State ; it was important to him, therefore, to 
get rid of the restrictive provisions of the bill in respect to his other lands. His agents 
in this country were well satisfied that the applicants for coercive but just measures 
would not rest quietly under one defeat, and that his interest would be damaged in pro- 
portion to the duration of the controversy. 

The new proprietors made immediate arrangements to bring the property into 
market, and effected large sales by auction and private sale, in the year 1831, and in 
the course of a few years, what remained of the original purchase, with other lands of 
Mr. Ellice on the north side of the river, came into the hands of Richard R. Ward and 
Col. James Munroe, of New York. 

Going back to the little village in 1816, we learn that it then con- 
sisted of only two streets. These were the turnpike, now known as 
Main street, and Western avenue, which then extended on the present 
line no farther than to cross Furnace Creek, where it turned down east 


of the yellow house, thence over the old canal, and along between the 
old lock canal and the river, to the head of the falls. The other road 
was what is now called German, Bridge, Ann and Church streets, cross- 
ing the river from the south and leading to Eatonville.( These roads 
can be readily followed by reference to the maps.) There were not more 
than forty dwellings in the village; the octagon church had not been 
finished; there were the stone school house,' two taverns, two black- 
smith shops, five or six stores and groceries and the mills. The open- 
ing of the canal of the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company in 
1795-96 gave something of an impetus to the growth of the village ; 
but the resulting growth was not very marked, and the village remained 
in nearly the condition above described until about 1828. 

Under the charter of 1827 the amount authorized to be raised by tax 
for all purposes could not exceed $300 annually. The highway tax 
was left to the jurisdiction of the town authorities. The first election 
held under that charter for village oflficers resulted as follows : 

President, Nathaniel S. Benton; trustees, Christopher P. Bellinger, William Girvan, 
Sanders Lansing, James Sanders, Gould Wilson, and John McMichael ; fire wardens, 
Robert Stewart, Jacob Osborn, and John Phillips ; treasurer, Henry P. Alexander ; 
collector, Jeremiah Eaton. 

Newspaper files, those invaluable records upon which the historian 
must so largely depend, are very incomplete in this town in early years. 
The People's Friend, from which we have already quoted, was in ex- 
istence for a few years after 1820, but there are only a few numbers of 
it now accessible. In 1824 it was published by Edward M. Griffing, 
who doubtless found it difficult to sustain his enterprise. There are 
a few advertisements in the paper. Gould Wilson was a cabinetmaker. 
William Brooks sold groceries, hardware, paints, crockery, etc., on 
Catherine street, two doors west of the store of A. Fuller (now Geo. H. 
Failing's block). He appears to have been getting desperate, for he 
announced that he was " determined to discontinue this long-winded 
credit business," and called for 40,000 bushels of ashes. Charles At- 
kinson had lost his Newfoundland dog. William Talcott was the hat- 

' The old school-house is still standing on the west side o£ Church street and used as a dwelling. 
The bell of the old house is now in use on the engine-house on Ann street, at rear of the Milligan 
& Wheeler block. 


ter of the place one door west of Hinchman's Inn (W. A. Pepper & Co.), 
and the " Green Store " (southwest corner Third and Main streets) 
was kept by Burritt & Tonilinson, on First street. D. Petrie and J. 
Petrie had a general store (southeast corner Main and Ann streets) and 
Mather & Waldo were tinners and sold stoves. D. & E. Sprague oper- 
ated the paper-mill and also carried on a store Chauncey Marshall 
sold dry -goods and J. McComb had a tobacco factory (Amos Keller's 
block). Wendell & Jenkins were merchants and E. Hathaway & Co. 
carried on the Little Falls bakery, corner of Second and Garden streets. 
Smith & Hamilton had a drug store and Martin Bettinger was a saddler. 
The Union Library had been in existence, but it does not appear to have 
been very thriving, as the books, etc., were offered for sale at auction 
by David Benseley and David Petrie, treasurer and librarian. The 
" Aquatic Bookstore" passed through the place on the canal, a unique 
evidence of enterprise by some Yankee, and in December there was a 
call in the paper for a local bank. These notes give a glimpse of the 
business interests of the village at quite an early day ; and we have no 
files to which to refer after that year until 1836, when the Mohawk 
Courier was in existence. From that paper we learn that the Utica 
and Schenectady Railroad was in process of construction. It will be 
remembered that this was the beginning of one of the various periods 
of financial stringency from which the country has suffered. On the 
30th of June the editor wrote : 

" Notwithstanding the severity of the times our village is enhvened as usual by the 
traffic and industry of our enterprising citizens. From recent changes in proprietorship 
of real estate we have reason 'to believe that the natural and artificial advantages of 
this locality will be improved, as our people have long and patiently hoped." 

The editorial then alludes to the unexcelled water power, the canal, 
the railroad, and the market facilities of the village. On the 25th of 
July the paper records that " a locomotive and two beautiful carriages 
in train passed over the whole line of the road from Schenectady to 
Utica and returned the same day." The latter trip, we are informed, 
was made in four hours and fourteen minutes. 

In August of this year (1836) the paper notes that the water lots and 
real estate on the north side of the Mohawk, bounded north by Canal 
street and Western avenue, and extending from the head of the falls to 


the foot of the basin, were purchased in the previous week by A. 
Loomis of Richard R. Ward for $50,000. A flour- mill was then in 
process of construction by " Mr. Durky " (Rodney Durkee), and a 
woolen factory was soon to be started by S. P. Fuller. These are evi- 
dences of the increasing thrift and enterprise which were beginning to 
develop in the village. 

Before his death Hon Arphaxed Loomis wrote the following account 
of how the aqueduct and basin at Little Falls came to be built : 

" In 1 82 1, when the Erie canal was in progress of construction on the 
south side of the river, no part of the village proper existed on the 
south side of the river, and no streets were on that side except the road 
leading from the river bridge to German Flats, but it was a rocky waste 
covered with shrubbery. The local agent of Mr. Ellice, Mr. George H. 
Feeter, and the citizens of the village, were alarmed and feared that the 
business of the village would be seriously impaired for want of im- 
mediate connection with the canal. A feeder at Little Falls to be taken 
from the south side was the plan then in contemplation. The canal 
commissioner was requested by Mr. Feeter and other citizens to take 
the feeder from the old canal on the north side of the river which 
the State had purchased from the Inland Lock Navigation Company, 
and connect it by an aqueduct across the river with the Erie Canal. 
This project of feeding would be more expensive than that in contem- 
plation by the canal commissioners. A negotiation was had, and 
finally an arrangement was made by which it was agreed between 
Henry Seymour, the commissioner on the part of the State, and the 
agents of Mr. Ellice and the citizens of the village, that the State would 
adopt the aqueduct plan, provided the stone requisite for the work 
should be furnished and delivered free of expense to the State and the 
work of construction should be done by the State. The Bleeckers, the 
principal agents of Mr. Ellice at Albany, were seen, and it was agreed 
that the interests of the proprietor were so seriously involved that by 
their direction Mr. Feeter entered into a contract with Henry Heath to 
deliver the stone required for forty- five cents a perch. The contract 
was performed by Mr. Heath, and a disagreement as to the quantity 
and payment having arisen, a lawsuit ensued, in which the history of 
the whole transaction was placed in evidence, and thus the history of 


the building of the aqueduct at the joint expense of the State and of 
the owners of the land and citizens on the north side, and of the con- 
struction of the basin on Mr. Ellice's land at his own expense, was pre- 
served. The basin itself was the private enterprise of Mr. Ellice and 
the citizens. A subscription of about $2,000 was raised by the citizens, 
beside a contribution of Mr. Ellice, to effect what was then deemed an 
improvement of great importance to the interests of the village. Since 
that time long ago the village has extended across the river and the 
canal, the aqueduct is now in the midst of it, and the storehouses and 
business connected with it are now its borders," 

As a further indication of the growth of the place between 1824 and 
183S, the following facts from advertisements are taken from the Cou- 
rier : 

M. Richardson was a surgeon dentist and jeweler on Catharine 
street, opposite Hinchman's Hotel. William H. Grant announced that 
the Railroad Exchange " near .the depot of the railroad is now open for 
company." The Herkimer County Mutual Insurance Company was in 
existence, with James M. Gray as agent, and William Chase advertised 
village lots for sale. Franklin Adams was a bookseller and book- 
binder (and is still vigorously prosecuting his business), and Benjamin A. 
Feeter had just opened a saddle, trunk and harness shop one door south 
of William Girvan's grocery; while Benjamin Snell carried on the same 
business in the shop formerly occupied by John Beardslee, corner of 
Catharine and Ann streets. Sylvanus J. Waters had just taken the old 
stand one door east of the Little Falls Hotel for the sale of groceries and 
liquors. The " Little Falls Cash Store " was situated at No. i Phoenix 
Row; this was the building, a part of which is now (1892) occupied 
by Aldridge & Co., corner of Main and Second streets, the middle part 
standing as it did at that time, and now occupied by L. R. Klock. 
James Wilcox carried on the " Cash Store." A " new wholesale stove 
establishment" was advertised by D. & J. Petrie & Co., the firm being 
David and Joram Petrie and Horace H. Johnson ; the store had pre- 
viously been occupied by Brown & Bradley, corner of Catharine and 
Ann streets. J. H. Prentiss was a jeweler, and Dr. D. Belknap was a 
dentist, as well as a physician. Ezekiel Morris said : " I have com- 
menced the axe-making business at the west end of the village near the 

^^^^»^<-L ^/^ 


Mohawk furnace." T. & H. M. Burch sold stoves, and the Rockton 
flour-mill was run by Durkee & Eaton. Peter Boyer sold stone lime, 
and L. R. French had begun making the " patent screw bedstead " on 
the south side of the river. H. & S. Parnialee had a general store on 
the south side, and O W. Couch kept the Little Falls Hotel. The 
Little Falls Temperance Society was in operation, and J. C. Dann, P. 
Staring, and R. N. Casler, who were the town committee, advertised a 
Republican meeting at " the house of Leigh & Dygert " A meeting 
was called for February 19, 1838, to "re-establish the village library." 
" Previous to the disastrous fire of January, 1836," said the notice, " a 
successful effort had been made to organize a Library Association here." 
The first library was burned. In September, 1839, President Van 
Buren visited the village and the event was properly celebrated. An 
address was delivered by Arphaxed Loomis, and Col. A. G. Rosecrantz 
was chief marshal of the parade. The assemblage gathered at the 
Little Falls Hotel at 8 A. M, and proceeded thence to Herkimer as an 
escort for the distinguished guest. The president reached Little Falls 
on the 1 2th; a hundred guns were fired, and in the parade he was es- 
corted in a barouche and four white horses, in company with N. S. 
Benton, George H. Feeter, and Solomon Petrie. In the same year a 
correspondent wrote of the visible improvements in the place; that the 
population was exactly 3,000; that there were the academy, a paper- 
mill, one church, one furnace, one woolen factory and seven stores, 
which had been added during the year 1839. New streets had been 
opened, and there were also in operation two saw- mills, two flour- mills, 
one custom grist-mill, three paper mills, one plaster- mill, one carding- 
mill, two furnaces, one sash and blind factory, one machine shop, one 
distillery, one brewery, two malt houses, two bakeries, one trip ham- 
mer, two tin shops, one tannery, and another woolen- mill, a paper-mill, 
and a furnace in process of construction. There were twenty mercantile 
establishments and one bank, A Mechanics' Association was organ- 
ized in December, which continued in existence several years. 

A glance at the village records for the period of which the foregoing 
treats, down to the year 1840, shows that public improvements had 
kept pace with private enterprise. As early as 1829 a committee was 
appointed from the trustees to locate two fire cisterns; Garden and 


Manheim streets were opened, and the committee on fire department 
was authorized to " fix on a suitable location as nearly central as may be, 
pursuant to the permission of the Ellices," for the fire engine house. 
In 1830 Albany and William streets were improved; and also, Second, 
Mary, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Church streets, were further opened 
and improved, while suitable extensions were made to the village side- 
walks. In 1 83 I Barent and John R. Bleecker (agents of the Ellice in- 
terest) offered to file a bond for $1,000 and to make and complete First 
street according to the ordinances. The offer was accepted. Fifteen 
dollars was fixed as the price of licenses, and R. N. Casler, James F. 
West, J. P. Casler, Margaret McDonald, Thompson Parkhurst, Orin 
Searl, Jacob Osburn, John Dygert, Elisha Bateman, Richard S.Thomp- 
son, Andrew A. Oliver, Edward Dann, Nicholas Harder, Mrs. Milligan, 
Franklin Barnes and James Plack, took out licenses — sixteen in all. 
As D. Burwell had already offered a resolution that $60 be raised for 
corporation purposes, it would seem that the license fund of $240 
would have left a considerable profit. A special meeting was held in 
December to consider the extermination of prevailing small pox, and 
Drs. Lester Green, Hosea flamiltoii, and Calvin W. Smith were ap- 
pointed a board of health. 

During the period from 1830 to 1835 extensive improvements were 
made in the village streets, including First (now Main), Albany, Mary, 
Catharine (now Main), Canal, John, Ann, Second, Mohawk and Bridge 
streets ; and German, Jefferson, Bellinger and Mohawk, on the south side, 
were declared public highways. The cholera raged throughout this 
country in 1832-33, and attention was called to the matter in the board 
of trustees, by ordering thorough cleaning of premises and abatement of 
all nuisances; but there was very little of the disease in this village, as far 
as shown by the records. A census was ordered in 1832, which showed 
that there were 246 families in the village, with a population of 811 
males and 791 females, 436 of whom were on the south side. In 1834 
a fire company was organized for the south side, an engine house was 
built at a cost of $192, and a hook and ladder company was attached 
to engine company No. i. In 1835 Martin W. Priest and J. C. Dann 
were authorized by the trustees to purchase two new engines and a 
hose, and to dispose of the apparatus on hand. It is of interest to pre- 



serve the names of tlie early fire companies about this period on both 
sides of the river, for it will be seen that many of the leading citizens 
were members They were as follow : 

Fire company o£ May, 1830: Amos Parkhurst, James Sanders, Robert Stewart, 
Andrew Oliver, Elijah Case, jr., William Taloott, diaries Ellis, James Smith, Charles 
Smith, Moses Drake, Washington Van Driesen, Thompson Parkhurst, Gordon Steven- 
son, Samuel Alexander, Richard S. Thompson, Hoiace Johnson, Henry Meloy, Josiah 
Lockwood, John Beardslee, Henry P. Alexander, Jesse Styles, Truman Fox, Harman 
G-. Ten Eyok, Orange Angell, John Phillips. 

Fire company on South side in 1834 : Henry Thompson, William L Skinner, John 
J. Taylor, Amon J.French, Henry Hastings, Martin W. Priest, William Page, Samuel 
Miller, Martin L. Basterbrooks, Charles Ellis, Henry Secknor, Barney H. Ellis, Leander 
Britton, J. S. Hayes, Simon Marcomb. H. H. Petrie, Eli Holden, David Labau, S. W. 
Shepard, Wra. Walradt, Robert Casler, Henry C Loucks, Joseph Lee, Gaylord Heath. 

Hook and ladder company, 1834: Ezra C. Southworth, James 0. De Grush, Samuel 
P. Fuller, Ferdinand P. St. John, Charles B. Eddy. Jeremiah Gurney, Charles A. Gir- 
van, Norman Tryon. 

During the period from 1S40 to the breaking out of the civil war 
advancement in the village was rapid and of a permanent character. 
The grievous lease system had been wiped out and a greater degree of 
confidence was felt by investors and tradesmen. New streets were 
opened and many new industries established. The village ran in debt, 
of course; that seems to be the natural result in all corporations of a 
municipal character. By 1847 the debt had reached about $6,000 and 
a charter amendment meeting was called at the stone school-house for 
April 12, to consider means for the extinguishment of the indebted- 
ness The result was the raising of the amount of annual tax in 1850 
to $800, $500 of which was to be applied annually to debt-paying pur- 
poses. While this action sufficed for that time, it did not prevent the 
after accumulation of another burden of a similar character. 

On the 9th of June, 1848, a special election was held to vote on the 
question of raising and appropriating $950 to pay for piping water from 
the cistern in the public square to near the intersection of Catharine 
(now Main) and Ann streets for fire extinguishing purposes ; the 
measure was carried. In the following year (1849), the inhabitants 
were affected by the prevailing cholera scare, but the village and its 
vicinity were not destined to suffer severe affliction from that disease. 
In 185 1 $300 were appropriated for improvement of the fire engine 


houses, and a like sum for an addition to the cemetery. In 1852 a 
watch-house was ordered built on the north side of Main street, about 
opposite Fifth street. The committee were Asa Wilcox, Joseph K. 
Chapman, arid Thomas Dale. It was built by the late Col. Leonard 
Boyer for $186, and the materials of the old watch-house. Gas was 
introduced in the village in 1853 and A. G. Story was given the ex- 
clusive privilege of laying pipes in the streets for that purpose. In the 
same year $1,000 were raised for improvement of the fire department. 
By this time the general village fund had reached nearly $3,000 an- 
nually, and it stood near tliat for a number of years. The charter was 
again amended in 1857, making the trustees the assessors and commis- 
sioners of highways, fixing compensation of the clerk and street com- 
missioner, etc. 

Among the prominent residents of Little Falls, many of whose names 
have been mentioned, it is proper at the first to give a brief account 
of the careers of Zenas C. Priest, Harry Burrell, and William I. Skin- 

Gen. Zenas C. Priest was born in the town of Fairiield, April 18, 
1806. When seventeen years of age he began business on his own ac- 
count, remaining in his native town until 1824, when he removed to the 
village of Little Falls and became a clerk, and acted as such until he 
acquired an independent business as owner and manager of several 
bakeries in the valley. In 1835 he was deputy sheriff, and in that and 
the following year aided in acquiring the right of way in this vicinity 
for the Utica and Syracuse Railway Company, and in July, 1836, he 
became one of its three conductors, acting also as trackmaster between 
Little Falls and Utica part of the time. From 1840 to 1847 he had 
charge of the western department of the road, and upon the consolida- 
tion of the several roads into the New York Central in 1853, he was 
made superintendent of the Syracuse and Utica division; in 1867 his 
division was extended to Albany. Thereafter his division included the 
Troy and Athens branch. He enjoyed the confidence of President 
Erastus Corning, Commodore Vanderbilt, President William H. Van- 
derbilt and his son, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and other executive officers 
of the road down to and including Hon. Chauncey M. Depew. Com- 
modore Vanderbilt and his son and grandson so highly appreciated the 


general's services that they contributed $500 every six months extra 
compensation in each year down to and including the year of his death; 
the last $500 being handed over to the executors of the general's es- 
tate, in token of their appreciation of his faithful, earnest and effectual 
services to the road. In 1835 1^^ was appointed major in a Herkimer 
county militia regiment, and in i860 he was promoted to the rank of 
brigadier general. When the war broke out he became a very energetic 
war Democrat, and by voice and purse and numerous efforts aided the 
Union cause like the consistent patriot that he was during the whole 
struggle. He was for many years vice- president of the National Herki- 
mer County Bank, and subsequently became its president, which office 
he held at the time of his death, which occurred December 4, 1887, when 
in his eighty-first year, having been ill only a week. Having been in 
the service of the railroad for more than fifty years, he was familiar with 
all its needs, and was distinguished by being pre-eminently a good 
railroad man. He was a kind, liberal man, using his best judgment to 
protect the interests of the employees of the road. He was at one time 
president of the village, and several years represented his town in the 
board of supervisors ; was a presidential elector, and well deserved and 
received the confidence of the community in which he was so long 
an active and valuable citizen. For many years he was a conspicuous 
Mason, Knight Templar, and his funeral was conducted by that order 
and attended by President Depew, the directors and superintendents of 
the New York Central Railroad, and a large concourse of j>eople, the 
services being conducted in the Baptist church, to which he was many 
years attached and to which he was a very liberal contributor. 

The late Harry Burreli was so long and so conspicuously connected 
with the farming and dairy interests of the county, that a proper defer- 
ence to those industries demands a record of his life and business career. 
He was born in Sheffield, Mass., November 28, 1797, and was a son 
of Jonathan and Lucinda Burreli. His parents moved into the 
town of Salisbury in the year 1804. Upon the death of his father 
he succeeded to the possession of the old homestead known as the 
Hackley farm. About that period the business of dairying began 
to attract the attention of the farmers of Herkimer county, and when 
he was about twenty years of age, at the solicitation of his neighbors, 



he took charge of their dairy products, which were drawn to Albany on 
wagons and thence transported to New York in sloops. He early com- 
menced the purchase of cheese and other dairy products for the New 
York market, and soon after engaging in that enterprise became the 
largest buyer in the country. As his business increased he established 
a house in New York city under the firm name of H. Burrell & Co. His 
son, Seymour Burrell, was at one time connected with him, and sub- 
sequently his son, David H., became a purchaser for the house. At 
the suggestion of Erastus Corning and others he commenced the busi- 
ness of exporting cheese, having formed reliable connections with for- 
eign houses, and he was probably the first shipper of dairy products 
from this country to foreign markets ; he continued a buyer on a large 
scale and shipper until near the close of his life. Mr. Burrell acquired 
a high reputation for integrity and sagacity and met with exceptional 
success. At the time of his death he was the owner of several farms in 
Salisbury and other towns, which passed by virtue of his will to his 
children, who still continue to own the same. In 1854 he removed 
to Little Fails where he built a handsome residence at the corner 
of William and Main streets, which he occupied until the time of 
his death, and the same now remains in the possession of his widow, 
and son Edward J. Burrell. His sons, David H. Burrell and Ed- 
ward J. Burrell, acquired from him a knowledge of the business 
of handling dairy products, which to a greater or less extent they 
have continued to carry forward until this time; Edward J. Burrell 
giving especial attention to that branch of the numerous kinds of 
business carried on by the firm of D. H, Burrell & Co. Harry Bur- 
rell was a member of the Presbyterian Church from the early years 
of his life until the time of his death, and contributed largely to 
its success in Salisbury and Little Falls ; he was for many years presi- 
dent of its board of trustees, and was several years a trustee of the Lit- 
tle Falls Academy. He died at Little Falls March 5, 1879. 

William L Skinner was born in 'the town of Little Falls on the 24th 
of October, 181 2, and was the son of Josiah H. Skinner, who came 
from the State of Connecticut some years prior thereto. Mr. Skinner 
was elected sheriff of the county in 1848, having prior thereto served 
several times as a deputy. In 1859 he was elected canal commissioner 


and served until 1866, acquitting himself creditably in the office, as he 
had practical knowledge of the affairs of the canal, had many years 
been a contractor, and was able to deal with many of the practical ques- 
tions arising in respect to the canals which came under the review of 
the canal commissioners. He was president of the village, on sev- 
eral occasions was elected one of its trustees, and at one time 
cliief of the fire department. He was a member of the memorable 
committee of twelve citizens who investigated the facts relating to and 
recommended the construction of the present system of water works. 
He was by an act of the Legislature named as one of the Board of 
Water Commissioners, was elected president of the board, and his 
practical judgment and industrious attention to the afifairs of the system 
were valuable in securing the proper construction of the works. In 
1869 he erected the Skinner Opera House at the corner of Main and 
Second streets. At the time of his death he was a director of the 
National Herkimer County Bank. In all the relations of life he exhib- 
ited strong common sense and good practical judgment; he formed 
correct opinions of men and measures, and during his seventy-nine 
years residence in Little Falls contributed largely to its prosperity. 
He died February 13, 1891, leaving three sons and two daughters sur- 
viving him. 

Turning again to the newspapers of the period from 1840 to the 
war we learn of other events and changes which deserve mention. The 
winter of 1842 witnessed a great temperance agitation in this section 
and fifteen hundred signed the pledge in Little Falls. Early in Febru- 
ary of this year (1842) occurred a very destructive freshet which on the 
first day swept away a dwelling below the " Railroad Hotel," and on 
the following day carried off the new paper-mill of A. Loomis, and the 
saw-mill, axe factory, grist-mill and flouring-mill were greatly dam- 
aged. On the south side the barn of S. W. Shepard was carried away 
and the stalls for hogs at the distillery were inundated. Colonel Leigh's 
mills and the iron works of Shepard, Babbitt & Co. were badly dam- 
aged. William Paige's large paper-mill was wrecked in the lower story. 
The damage amounted to about $8,000 ; and in June of the same 
year this disaster was followed by another of similar nature in which 
the creek through the village caused damage to the amount of $15,000. 
These losses caused much depression among the inhabitants. 


In 1845 we again find the editor expressing congratulations as fol 
lows : " The constant, rapid, yet sound growth of our village must be a 
subject of high gratification to its citizens. Our prosperity is based 
upon the sure foundation of capital, labor and rational enterprise. 
Fancy stocks have never been in demand here." He wrote further of 
this being the commercial center of a very large district on both sides 
of the Mohawk, with great thoroughfares running cast and west ; its 
extensive water power, etc., and concluded by designating Little Falls 
as "The Lowell of the Empire State" — which we must admit was de- 
cidedly bright. 

By the year 1850 the debt before mentioned had become a decided 
bugbear to many citizens, and its payment, with other charter changes 
was demanded. The newspaper commented freely upon the folly and 
burden of such a state of affairs, spoke of the former small debt incurred 
mainly for the fire department, and deplored the fact that the corpo- 
ration credit had become depreciated to about ninety cents on the dollar. 
These conditions led to prompt and radical changes. An entire new 
charter was adopted, providing for raising $5,300 on village bonds, in- 
creasing the annual tax to $800 and paying off the debt at the rate of 
$500 annually (as before described). The new charter was a great im- 
provement on the former ones, and most of its important provisions are 
in force to-day. It being on record in numerous places, we need not 
quote from it here. Another important change was made, which in 
some respects seems at this day to have been the result of thoughtless 
folly, although many good citizens advocated it at the time. This was 
the changing of the name of the village to " Rockton." The most im- 
portant reason advanced for the change was, that the village had 
become of sufficient importance to have a name of its own, and not 
longer exist under the title of the whole town. The name was 
changed ; but much to the dissatisfaction of many of the older citizens, 
and in less than a year their influence was such, and the general defer- 
ence to their wishes so pronounced, that the old name was restored. 

In July of 1850 a terrible flood occurred which exceeded that of 1842. 
Buildings were inundated by the overflowing of Furnace Creek; John 
Miller's house and barn were swept away, with the dwelling of Joseph 
lioyer, and many others were damaged. The loss was about $15,000. 


cc /i A *^y*-t^-^ 



Meanwhile, as we have intimated, the business interests of the place 
increased in the most satisfactory manner. Plank roads had been built 
in several directions from the village between 1847 and 1851, during 
which period almost the entire State was covered with a network of 
those useful, but short lived highways. While they were in use, at a 
time when ordinary roads were worse, if possible, than now, they gave 
the farming community means for getting their produce to market and 
were certainly instrumental in building up commercial centers like Little 
Falls. A Hst of the principal business houses in the place in 1850-51 
will be of value as indicating the growth of the village. The list is made 
up from the advertising in the newspapers, and probably embraces most 
of the principal establishments : 

S. N. Foote, dry goods ; H. M. Heath, furnace and plows ; Mrs. S. 
A. Fox, and Miss A. J. Swift, milliners ; Jones & Hinds, agents for rub- 
ber goods ; J. C. Kellogg, dentist ; Herkimer County Insurance Com- 
pany; Reddy & Cunningham, furnace; Gordon Stevenson, cabinet 
maker; B. W. Franklin, dentist; Henry W. Fox, tailor and ready- 
made clothing; C. P. Hunt, Little Falls drugstore; A. W. Golden, 
cabinet maker in the green store ; Harris & Houghton, sash and blind 
factory ; F. Adams, bookseller ; Usher & Caswell, flour, etc. ; Cook & 
Petrie, hatters; Pratt & Company, boots and shoes; Jones & Hine, 
tailors; T. Burch & Company, stoves and general merchants; William 
Taylor, clothing and tailor ; J. C. Clarke, meat market ; J. W. Helmer, 
crockery, etc. ; John St. John, tailor ; G. B. Young, furniture ; W. H. 
Cressy, stoves and hardware ; Ford & Waterman, John H. Wooster, 
Nolton & Lake, Loomis & Griswold, and William Brooks, lawyers. 

In 1852 the editor of the local paper said : " There are few villages 
in the country whose streets exhibit a busier or more cheering aspect 
than this," and followed with encouraging comments on the schools of 
the place, its churches, etc. The fact is, the village enjoyed a good de- 
gree of growth and general prosperity between 1855 and the breaking 
out of the war; streets were opened and improved; miles of sidewalks 
were laid; parks were improved; the academy, incorporated in 1844, 
was in full and successful operation ; and all municipal affairs were 
prosperous. In i860 a local paper said that in no time in a number of 
years had there been so much building, repairing and general activity. 


All this was, of course, changed by the opening of the great struggle 
for the preservation of the Union. This event paralyzed action in re- 
gard to public improvements throughout the country and turned uni- 
versal attention to war and its hundreds of related activities. The chief 
occurrences in connection with the war, as far as this county is con- 
cerned, are sufficiently noted in the earlier pages of general history. It 
is sufificient for the present purpose to say that Little Falls was the cen- 
ter of military activity for the county during tiie momentous contest, 
and that her leading citizens gave freely of their time and means and 
energy for the success of the struggle. 

The major portion of the history of the village since the war is em- 
bodied in the immediately following pages devoted to the various insti- 
tutions and industries of the place ; and it only remains to sketch briefly 
the more important acts of the village authorities. Business activity 
was renewed at the close of the rebellion ; money was plenty and the 
guarantees of peace inspired all men with hopefulness for the future. A 
somewhat disastrous fire occurred in July, 1866, burning the Hinchman 
House and the stores of seven merchants, and other buildings ; the loss 
was about $45,000. On the following Sunday what was known as the 
Valley House was burned. These fires led to an earlj- reconstruction 
and improvement of the fire department. The general fund of the vil- 
lage had now reached about $6,000, and the population of the town was 
nearl)' 6,000. In February, 1871, a movement was made to organize 
the State Dairymen's Association and Board of Trade; the organiza- 
tion was effected on the 27tli ; Judge George A. Hardin presided at 
and addressed the meeting held for the purpose. A steam fire engine 
had been recently purchased, and in August a meeting was held and 
measures adopted for the purchase of a second one, which was accom- 
plished. The Union Free School system was adopted in the fall of this 
year (1873), and street improvements were numerous about this period. 
In 1 88 1 the fire alarm was introduced, and in the following year a be- 
ginning was made upon the present complete sewer system. At the 
same time the stone crusher was purchased, to be followed in 1892 by 
one of the first-class steam road rollers, and under the present policy the 
streets are being rapidly and effectively improved. The village debt at the 
present time is about $330,000, and the annual general tax reaches 


the sum of about $40,000. To the progressive citizens of the vil 
lage these figures are not at all appalling, for they realize that owing to 
its peculiar physical situation, Little Falls improvements are necessarily 
costly. They also realize that in order to keep in the front rank in the 
march of human progress, money as well as energy must be expended. 
Following are the trustees of the village from the year 1828 to the 
present time : 

1828, Sanders Lansing, James Sanders, John McMichael. 

1829, Thomas Smith, A. Loomis, Gould Wilson, Moses Drake, N. S. Benton, Alanson 

1830, Thomas Smith, N. S. Benton, Gould Wilson, A. Loomis, John McKenster, 
Richard N. Casler. 

1831, N. S. Benton, Moses Drake, William I. Pardee, Wm. Brooks, Lester Green. 
Hosea Hani'lton. 

1832, Parley Eaton, Je.sse 0. Dann, Elisha P. Ilurlbut, Daniel Mcintosh, Wm. J. Par- 
dee, Christopher Smith. 

1833, Christopher P. Bellinger, E. P. Hurlbut, Parley Eaton, Henry Heath, Joram 
Petrie, George Petrie. 

1834:, Gould Wilson, C. P. Bellinger, Martin W. Priest, Tliomas Burch, John Bartow, 
John Beardslee. 

1835, \M. W. Priest, Jesse C. Dann, Thomas Barob, John Beardslee, Parley Eaton, 
Richard N. Casler. 

183G, M. W. Priest, J. C. Dann, Albert G. Story, James T. Smith, Flavins J. Little- 
john, Robert Casler. 

1837, M. W. Priest, James T. Smith, Christopher Smith, Henry Heath, Frederick 
Lansing, Jarvis N. Lake. 

1838, Jarvis N. Lake, James T. Smith, Noah Stark, George B. Young, James N. 
Baker, Nicholas Moyer. 

1839, M. W. Priest, James N. Baker, Horace M. Burch, Lauren Ford, Frederick 
Lansing, Amos A. Beardslee. 

1840, R. N. Casler, W. Van Driesen, George H. Feeter, Nelson Rust, Henry W. Fox, 
James N. Baker. 

1841, Hiram Nolton, Nelson Rust, George G. Hall, Frederick Lansing. Moses Drake, 
Henry Heath. 

1842, Henry Heath, M. W. Priest, George B. Young, James Sanders, George Heath, 
William Paige. 

1843, M. W. Priest, R. N. Casler, Zenas A. Hall, William I. Skinner, Edmund G. 
Chapin, James T. Smith. 

1844, William Usher, William Ingham, J. N. Baker, Peter P. Bellmger, Jamas Feeter, 
H. Nolton. 

1845, John Beardslee, William Brooks, jr., Rodney Durkee, Wm. Ingham, William 
Page, jr., Peter P. E. Bellinger. 


184'i, William P. Hall, Joseph Boyer, Wra. Brooks, jr., James N. Baker, Michael 
Reddy, Henry Thompson. 

1847, R. N. easier, Seth M. Richmond, Nelson Rust, Henry Link, Wm. B. Poughton, 
Henry W. Fox. 

1848, Seth M. Richmond, A. G. Rosecrantz, J. N. Lake, Henry Thomp.ion, Robert 
Stewart, Nelson Rust. 

1849, A. G. Rosecrantz, Samuel S. Whitman, Michael Moyer, Deles Lake, G. S. 
Young, Wm. B. Houghton. 

1850, Re-incorporation of the village under name of Rockton : President, George H. 
Feeter ; trustees, Morris E. Fuller, Peter B. Gilder.sleeve, Henry Link, Leonard Boyer, 
A. G. Rosecrantz, Alvan Richmond, John Bielby, Henry M. Heath. 

1851, Joram Petrie J. N. Lake, Philo Reed, John Feeter, Michael Boothroyd, Michael 
Reddy, James N. Baker, Thomas Dale. 

1852, Asa Wilcox, J. 0. Cunningham, Lorenzo D. Waite, Shadrach Sherman, AVm. 
Fowler, Levi Casler, Joseph K. Chapman, Thomas Dale. 

1853, Henry Link, Thomas Scott, Aaron Carver, H. Thompson, Henry Heath, Ben- 
jamin R. Jones, Robert M. McChesney, Leonard Boyer. 

1854, W. B. Houghton, J. N. Barber, Joseph H. Hinds, S. M. Richmond, Nicholas 
Moyer, A. Rathbun, Samuel F. Bennett, Thaddeus R. Brooks. 

1855, George Heath, John Satterly, Henry Burwell, Eben B. Waite, Ezekiel Heath, 
Wm. M. Dorr, J. W. Helraer, Alvan Richmond. 

1856, George H. Carver, Elijah Wilds, B. R. Jone.s, Enoch R. Nelson, Shadrach Sher- 
man (to fill vacancy). From this date only four trustees were elected annnallj', four of 
the former board holding over. 

1857, Wells Sponable, George Heath, John Satterly, John W. Belhnger. 

1858, James Bellinger, jr., George H. Feeter, Mason S. Van Slyke, Harry Burrell. 

1859, George Ashley, John W. Bellinger, J. N. Baker, Gideon Tillinghast. 

1860, Henry T. Holmes, Sylvester Levee, Wm. S. Tucker, S. T. Smith. 

1861, Robert Casler, Philander G. Potter, J. N. Casler, James Boyer. 

1862, Wm. M. Briggs, Thomas Dale, Warren C. Southworth, Nicholas Moyer. 

1863, Sylvester Levee, Philander G. Potter, C. B. Leigh, Darwin B. Chase. 

1864, Thomas Dale, Thomas W. Dundas, Peter A. Conyne, Wra Briggs. 

1865, Henry Root, George F. Angel, Sylvester Levee, R. D. Casler. 

18G6, Thomas Dale, John W. Bellinger, Wm. H. Weeks, Nathan Basterbrook. 

1867, Henry M. P. Uhlee. P. G. Potter, Charles Benedict, T. A. Burnham. 

1868, Levi Bellinger, Esick Buchanan, Amos Rankin, Patrick Nolan. 

1869, Wm. M. Briggs, Henry M. P. Uhlee, Robert Casler, jr., RoUin H. Smith. 

1870, Frederick H. Phillips, Wm. Nelson, Timothy Comboy, Jonah May. 

1871, Wm. M. Brigg.s, S. B. Casler, James W. Cronkhite, Wm. Clark. 

1872, Albert Story, Thomas Dale, C. B. Leigh, James T. Smith. 

1873, Peter A. Conyne, John P. Harvey, John A. Woolever, Charles Benedict, 

1874, Victor Adams, 1. B. Richmond, Amos Keller, Thomas Sheridan. 

1875, Daniel W. Ladue, Peter A. Staring, Wm. M. Briggs, Charles W. Nellis. 

1876, Alonzo 0. Casler, Edward S. Middlebrook, Andrew Foley, Jacob Stacy. 

1877, John F. Leahy, D. W. Ladue, James Wiswell, Amos Rankins. 


1878, Irving E. "Waters, Henry Link, George Keller, Thomas Sheridan. 

1879, Amos Rankins, Silas W. Boyer, D. W, Lailue, John McCauley. 

1880, Joseph W. Baker, Henry E. Piper, Richard Levee, Jacob Stacy. 

1881, John Canaman, James McDonald, John Chester, R. Walrath. 

1882, Victor Adams, Albert Story, John L. Palmer, \V. R. Chappie. 
r883, Irving E. Waters, Amos Keller, Peter E. Rankins, John 0. Leahy. 

1884, Chas. J. Palmer, W. Shall, W. R. Chappie, Charles Bailey, Asa Bowen. 

1885, Charles Benedict, D. J. Mesick, Peter A. Staring, Lyman Timmerman. 

1886, Thomas Bf^iley, K Gr. Lower, Thomas McDermott. L. R. Klock. 

] 1887, Eraorj' J. Diefendorf, Warner Edick, Fred M. Kenyon, L. Timmerman. 

1888, Thomas McDermott, Fred H. Gowen, John H. Kane, George H. Goetchiiis. 

1889, Charles N. Le Bart, David P. Broaghton, Frank W. Smith, Halsey W. Warren. 

1890, H. G. Babcock, N. 0. Casler, John H. Kane, Hiram Sharp. 

1891, Richard Levee, J. S. Newell, Halsey W. Warren, Herbert B. demons. 

1892, William Dale, Squire Bailey, Kenyon A. Bushnell, Sylvanns J. Waters, jr. 

Following is a list of the presidents of the village of Little Falls from 
1828 to the present time: 

N. S. Benton, 1828; John Dygert, 1829-30; Arphaxed Looniis, 1831, 1833-36; 
Henry P. Alexander, 1834-3,5; Jesse C. Dann, 183,"; Martin W. Priest, 1838-41, 
1844,1847,1862-60,1872-73; Robert Stewart, 1842; George B. Young, 1843 ; Fred- 
erick Lansing, 1845-46; Richard N. Casler (appointed to fill vacancy), 1847 ; Hiram 
Nolton, 1848; George H. Feeter, 1849-50; Nelson Rust, 1851; William Brooks, jr., 
1852; Zenas C. Priest, 1853 ; Henry Link (appointed to fill vacancy), 1854; Jarvis N. 
Lake, 1854; James N. Barber (appointed to fill vacancy), 1854-56; Thomas Burch, 
1855; J. W. Helmer (appointed to fill vacancy), 1855; James Feeter, 1857; Seth M. 
Richmond, 1858-61 ; Mount M. Abel, 1867 ; John P. Sharer, 1868-71 ; W. A. Staf- 
ford, 1874; Watts T. Loomis (appointed to fill vacancy), 1874; S. Stewart Lansing, 
1875-76; Jonah May, 1877; Isaac B. Richmond, 1878-79; Henry Link, 1880; Isaac 
B. Richmond, 1881, 1883; Kendrick E. Morgan, 1882; J. J. Gilbert, 1384-85; Joseph 
W. Baker, 1886 ; George F. Crumby 1887 ; Isaac B. Richmond, 1888, 1890; Charles 
L. Petree, 1889; Judson J. Gilbert, 1891 ; 1892, Albert Story. 

The officers of the village for 1892 are as follow: President, Albert 
Story ; treasurer, Frank B. Wilcox ; collector, Calvin Van Alstine ; 
trustees, "William H. Dale, Squire Bailey, Sylvanus J. Waters, jr., Ken- 
yon A. Bushnell ; clerk, Wilbur D. Newell ; attorney, H. A. De Coster ; 
street commissioner, James M. Smith ; board of health, John R. Taylor, 
Milton Tryon, Frank W. Smith. 


Tlie Octagon Church. — This historic building was erected, says Mr. 
Benton's history, about the year 1796, and " attracted the admiring 


were Abraham Neeley and wife, Daniel Talcott and wife, Mrs. Henry 
Rartlett and Mrs. James Kennedy. The first elders of the church, 
chosen May i6, 1813, were Abraham Neeley and Thomas Smith. In 
the early part of 18 1 3 the church entered into ecclesiastical connection 
with the Presbytery of Oneida, and so remained until 1842, when it 
transferred its connection to the Presbytery of Albany. In the re- 
construction of synods and presbyteries in 1870, after the reunion, this 
church was included within the bounds of the synod of Central New 
York by act of the General Assembly, and by act of synod was attached 
to the Presbytery of Utica, with which it has since been connected. 
The congregation originallj' worshiped in the old Octagon church be- 
fore described, which was erected about 1796. In 1832 a brick church 
was erected on the corner of Ann and Albany streets (now occupied by 
D. H. Burrell & Co.). This building served the congregation for nearly 
fifty years, and was several times remodeled and enlarged. In 1879 
the present beautiful and and costly stone edifice was completed. It is 
one of the finest church structures in Central New York and cost more 
than $40,000. 

Tlie Sabbath-school was probably organized soon after the church organization, and 
Rev. H. N. Woodruff was the first superintendent, with the following teachers: Hon. 
N. S. Benton, Ephraim Garter, Josiah Pierson. Mrs. H. N. Woodruff, Maria John.son, 
Sarah Lockwood, and Elizabeth Carpenter. The following per.^ons have served as su- 
perintendents of the school: Rev. H. N. Woodrufl", William Hammill, Hosea Hamil- 
ton, John Dygert, Rev. T. B. Jervis, Thomas Burch, William Rossiter, Jarvis X. Lake, 
J. S. Aldridge, D. H. Burrell, Amos King, Charles King, L. Timmerman, and E. J. 

The following have served either as pastors or stated supplies of the 
church : 

Rev. James Joyce, 1812-1813 ; Rev. Hezekiah N. Woodrufl; 1813-1822; Rev. Stephen 
W. Burritt, 1822-1827; Rev. Jacob Helffenstein, 1827-1828; Rev. David M. Smith, 
1828-1829; Rev. J. Barton, 1830-1831; Rev. J. H. Martyn, 1831-1832; Rev. James 
F. Warren, 1832-1833; Rev. James I. Ostrom, 1833-1835; Rev. Arthur Burtis, 1836- 
1837 ; Rev. L. P. Blodgett, 1837-1839 ; Rev. A. L. Bloodgood, 1840-1841 ; Rev. J. H. 
Mcllvaine. 1841-1843; Rev. A. G. Vermilye, 1845-1849; Rev. H. W. Morris, 1850- 
1860; Rev. M. L. P. Hill, 1860-1868; Rev. W. B. Parraalee, 1869-1872; Rev. Walter 
Condit. 1873-1875 ; Rev. Arthur Potts, 1875-1881 ; Rev. F. A. M. Brown, D. D., 1882- 
1887 ; Rev. C. S. Richardson, 1888. 

The elders of the church are: 

Town of little falls. 277 

J. S. Aldridge, E. D. Evans, Andrew Van Valkenburgh, D. H. Burrell. The trustees 
are W. G. Milligan, president; E. J. Burrell, C. L. Petree, L. Carryl, F. L Small, J. H. 
Ives, A. W. Shepherd, W. T. Loomis, George G. Stebbins. 

Methodist Episcopal Church. — Methodism in the M3hawk valley dates 
from a very early period, certainly previous to the beginning of the 
present century; and while details of the early history are extremely 
meager, we know that Freeborn Garretson and some of his colaborers 
were in Schenectady in 1789, and probably preached as far west as 
Utica. Starkville in this county had a class between 1790 and 1795, 
and Brockett's Bridge (Dolgeville) had one about 1800. Little Falls 
was, of course, visited by those early preachers. William Morrallee 
came to this country from England in 1801 and preached here, and 
Bishop Asbury visited Little Falls in 1807, and baptized Mrs. Phoebe 
Lewis, a daughter of Mr. Morrallee. A legal church organization was 
not, however, effected until November 19, 1832. At the meeting held 
for that purpose in the old stone school- house, Henry Heath presided 
and E. S. Edgerton was secretary. The following persons were elected 
the first trustees : Edmund L. Shepherd, Gilbert Robinson, George 
Warcup, E. S. Edgerton, and Henry Heath. Rev. Darius Simmons 
was then one of the circuit preachers, and eight days later he was ap- 
pointed to visit Troy, Albany and New York and solicit funds with 
which to build a church. He probably failed in his purpose, as only 
$400 were pledged and the project was abandoned until 1837. Again, 
after considerable effort, it was given up on account of the financial 
stress of that time. Finally, in 1838, through the efforts of Rev. 
Charles L. Dunning, a powerful preacher and a man of indomitable will 
and energy, a building was erected, which was dedicated September 28, 
1839. Bishop Hedding preached the dedicatory sermon. The mem- 
bership at that time was fifty- three. Since Mr. Dunning's pastorate 
the following have served the church: 

Revs. C. W. Leet, Charles L. Dunning, S. Orvis, B. L Diefendorf, 0. C. Cole, C. L. 
Dunning, R. B. Stratton, W. L. Tisdale, M. G. Bullock, J. V. Ferguson, Aaron Adams, 
I. L Hunt, Benjamin Phillips, D. Simons, D. M. Rogers, John Loveys, J. D. Adams, J. 
L. Humphrey, W. Jones, J. L. Humphrey, M. R. Webster, James Coote, Samuel Call, 
J. B. Hammond, who came in the spring of 1888. 

The church membership is now about 500. The trustees are S. 
Newell, Titus Sheard, William Dale, C. T. Pooler, S. Cross, William 


Revs. J. H. Harter, T.J. Whitcomb, engaged in Septeml)er. 1851 ; J. H. Hobbs, Sep- 
tember, 18.33; George W. Skinner, November, 1854; B. B. Halleck, June, 1857; J. R. 
Sage, May, 1859; 0. Cone, 1863; A Tibets, December, 1865; Lucius Holmes, Octo- 
ber, 1867; George P. Hibbard, June, 1871 ; H. D. L. Webster. May, 1873 ; H. A. Han- 
aford, April, 1875; E. F. Pember, December, 1877; Selden S. Gilbert, closed Septem- 
ber, 1884; R. E. Sykes, the present pastor, came in April, 1885. The membership is 
about 100. Following are the present trustees: Charles Benedict, George S. Ransom, 
Nelson E. Ransom, John P. Harvey, Addison Eaton, Oscar Taylor. 

Si. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. — Previous to the building of the 
Utica and Schenectady Railroad and the enlargement of the Erie Canal, 
Little Falls was visited by various Catholic clergymen, but during the 
improvements mentioned Rev. Father Burke was appointed pastor in 
this place. He was succeeded by Rev. Father Shanahan. They oc- 
cupied the old Octagon church. For some time after the completion 
of the railroad and the consequent removal of many Catholic families, 
the village was without a resident pastor. During the pastorate of Rev. 
Father Stokes over St. John's church in Utica, his assistant, Rev. John 
Menomy, a young clergyman, was appointed by the bishop as pastor 
of Herkimer, Montgomery, Fulton, Otsego, and Schoharie counties. 
He purchased a lot on John street and erected the first Catholic church 
of Little Falls. It was a comfortable- frame building and was finished 
in 1847 and dedicated the same year under the name of St. Mary's 
church. About the year 1S52 he was succeeded by Rev. B. F. Mc- 
Loughlin, who built the brick parsonage. During his administration 
the church was burned. The pastor was succeeded in June, 1867, by 
Rev. F"rancis Von Campenhoudt. He erected the brick church on the 
corner of Alexander and Petrie streets, which was dedicated in 1869 
by Bishop Lynch, of Charleston, S. C. He was succeeded in 1872 
by Rev. James Ludden, who remained more than ten years and 
was succeeded by Rev. A. P. Ludden, the present pastor. During the 
first Father Ludden's pastorate the church building was condemned as 
unsafe, and in 1874 the new stone church corner of John street and 
Eastern avenue was begun and completed in 1878. In 1889 the sub- 
stantial stone school building was erected, and in 1892 the stone 
deanery was built. The property is now very valuable. 

German Evangelical Church. — In the year 1849 Rev. P. Herlan 
began labor here for the establishment of a church of this faith, which 


he continued about two years. The place was then included in a cir- 
cuit extending from Albany to Syracuse. In 1852 Rev. E Greuzebach 
and a Mr. Scharfe came to the charge, and in 1855 Rev. L. Herman 
came, and during his ministrations the church was built on Gansevoort 
street. The society was incorporated January 29, 1857. The list of 
pastors cannot be given complete, in the absence of records. 

Schools. — In foregoing pages the stone school -house has often been 
mentioned. It is said that Elijah Case taught the first school in that 
historic structure, and for many years it was the only educational in- 
stitution in the village. Mr. Case called his scholars to study by blow- 
ing a long tin horn. There was little advancement in the schools at 
Little Falls until the incorporation of the academy by the Regents of 
the University of this State October 17, 1844. The trustees named in 
the charter were : 

Nathaniel S. Benton, Frederick Lansing, William 0. Grain, Henry Heath, Harry 
Burrell, Albert G. Story. Thomas Burch, Solomon Petrie, Henry Bysaman, Arphaxed 
Loomis, George H. Feeter, David Petrie, Martm W. Priest, Richard N. Casler, Zenas 
C. Priest, Nathan Brown, Stephen W. Brown, William Ingham. 

The citizens of the village contributed liberally to a fund for the 
erection of a necessary building and the result was the substantial stone 
structure which has so long served its purpose. In December, 1845, 
the reported value of the academic property entire was $14,849.38. 
The school was opened by Merritt G. McKoon, A. M., as principal. 
He was succeeded by the following : 

Daniel Washburne, 1845; Josiah A. Priest, 1848; James H. Maguffin, 1849; Philo 
S. Casler, 1850 ; Avery Briggs, 1851 ; Lawrence Mercerreaux, 1854 ; W. H. W^alker, 
1858; Alonzo Phelps, 1860; John Bell, 1861 ; Levi D. Miller, 1863; Hannibal Smitli, 
1867; D. P. Blackstone, 1869; Eugene E. Sheldon, 1870; W. F. Bridge, 1871. 

This academy subsequently became a part of the free school system 
of the village. 

A resolution was adopted on the 14th of October, 1873 "That a 
union free school, with an academical department, be established in 
this school district," the Board of Education to consist of six trustees, 
two of whom were to be elected annually. The existing Little Falls 
Academy was adopted as the academical department. The first Board 
of Education, elected October 15, 1873, was: Arphaxed Loomis, Jonah 


May, Seth M. Richmond, Charles G. Burke, James Hart, James W. 
Magill. Arphaxed Loomis was chosen president, and James Hart sec- 
retary of this first Board of Education. The school was divided into 
primary, intermediate, preparatory and academic departments. 

On the 2d of September, 1879, the graded school system was 
adopted, and under the law of that year W. S. Hall was appointed the 
first superintendent of schools. The schools were then divided into the 
Eastern, Western, and Southern Divisions, the academical department 
being continued in the academy building in the Eastern Division. 
The schools are under the supervision of the Regents of the University 
of the State, and the course of study conforms to the requirements of 
that body. Pupils are not admitted to the academical department upon 
examinations by the teachers, but upon the fact of the applicant hold- 
ing a regent's preliminary certificate, obtained upon a regent's exam- 
ination. On completion of the course of study and satisfactory exam- 
ination a graduating diploma is awarded. 

In 1884 a new brick school-house was erected for the Southern Di- 
vision, on the south side of the Mohawk, at a cost of $12,000, and in 
1889 a new brick school building was built on the site of the old struct- 
ure, corner of Prospect and Church streets, at a cost of $22,000. 
This latter building is a model one in its heating and ventilating sys- 
tem and interior arrangement. 

The present Board of Education is composed of the following per- 

Rollin""J-I. Smith, president ; Alonzo H. Green, secretary ; William R. Chappie, 
Horace A. Tozer, John Chester, Ivan T. Burney ; superintendent of schools, Thomas 
A. Caswell. 

Academical Department. Marcelhis Oakey, principal ; Miss Mary L. Mills, precep- 
tress; Miss Mary E. Vaughn, as,sistant. 

Eastern Division, Miss Adelaide A. Appley, Miss Ennly A. Oyston, Miss Minnie 
Evans, Miss Maggie D. Ferguson, Miss Mildred B. VanAlstine, Miss Anna P. Hutchins. 

Western Division, J. K. Abrams, principal ; Miss Helena J. Ballard, Miss Julia S. 
Beach, Miss Mary E. Van Deusen, Miss Bertha I. Hagedorn, Miss Ella M. Lewi.s, Miss 
B la R. Groom, Miss Cora M. Sharp, Miss Maggie E. Walcott. 

Southern Division, J. F. Steward, principal; Miss Gertrude Brown, Miss Lucy H. 
Clancy, Miss Lora Houpt. 

The Press of Little Falls. — The first newspaper in Little Falls was 
called the People's Friend, a Democratic paper, started by Edward M. 


Griffing in September, 1821. After about ten years of existence sev- 
eral leading Democrats of the village purchased the establishment to 
prevent a forced sale and discontinuance of the paper. Its name was 
then changed to the Mohatvk Courier', and its publication continued by 
Charles S. Benton & Co.; from them it passed to Josiah A. Noonan, 
who sold it to Horatio N. Johnson. He transferred it to Elias G. 
Palmer, but subsequently bought it back, and associated with himself 
Allen W. Eaton. In 1856 Mr Eaton purchased his partner's interest 
in the establishment, and the paper became the county organ of the 
then young Republican party, Mr. Eaton acting as editor. In March, 
1861, Mr. Eaton sold the paper to William Ayer and T. S. Brigham, 
who conducted it until January i, 1864, when it was purchased by 
Jean R. Stebbins, then proprietor of the Journal, and the two papers 
were consolidated under the name of the Journal and Courier. 

The history of the Journal down to its consolidation with the Courier 
begins in 1849, when the Herkimer County Journal was removed to 
Little Falls from Herkimer by Orlando Squires. In 1858 X. A. 
Willard assumed editorial control of the paper, as far as its political and 
literary features were concerned, and Daniel Ayer conducted the local 
columns and the business management. Mr. Willard continued as editor 
about two years. Mr. Ayer injured his health by arduous labor and 
died January i, 1861. On the i8th of the same month the establish- 
ment was purchased of Mr. Ayer's widow by Jean R. Stebbins, who 
continued as its proprietor until the consolidation above described. 

In September, 1866, George G Stebbins purchased an interest in the 
Journal and Courier, 2Lnd from that time until May, 1883, the paper 
was conducted and edited under the firm name of J. R. & Gr G. Steb- 
bins. On the date last named Ivan T. Burney was admitted to 
the firm and the business continued under the firm name of Stebbins & 
Co. until November i, 1886, when J. R Stebbins sold his interest to his 
partners, after a continuous connection with the paper of more than 
twenty-five years. Mr. Stebbins was a forcible and vigorous writer, 
especially on political subjects, and in the broad field of Republican 
politics his journal exerted a wide and powerful influence. Its circula- 
tion was extended and its character and prosperity built up under his 
able administration. Soon after the disposing of his interest to his 


partners, Mr. Stebbins removed to Watertown, N. Y., to assume the du- 
ties of president of the Agricultural Insurance Company of that city. 
The Journal and Courier since then has been ably couducted by Steb- 
bins & Burney. 

The Herkimer County Neius was started in Mohawk as an independ- 
ent paper in 1868 by Williams & Perkins. In the fall of 1 870, at the 
solicitation of many Democrats in Little Falls, the News was removed 
to this village. In the spring of 1871 it was transferred to L. W. 
Flagg, and in August of the same year was purchased by T; M Chap- 
man, of Canandaigua, N. Y., and W. R. Chappie, of Cleveland, O., 
under the firm name of Chapman & Chappie. The establishment was 
enlarged and the paper given a new impetus. In September, 1874, Mr. 
Chapman sold his interest to H. A. Tozer (Chaf«»afi & Tozer). In De- 
cember, 1877, failing health impelled Mr. Tozer to retire, and since that 
time the paper has been ably conducted on Democratic lines by Mr. 

The Little Falls Evening Times is the only daily newspaper pub- 
lished in Herkimer county. It was founded May 10, 1876, by the Co- 
operative Printing Company, composed of Robert Currie, Thomas and 
G. H. Highland, J. R. McGuire, and Henry Langdon. The type and 
other materials were purchased of C. A. Tucker, who had previously 
published the Mohaivk Independent. John F. Devlin was the first 
editor of the new daily. In November, 1886, the establishment was 
sold to a syndicate and E W. Pavey was appointed editor. Mr. Pavey 
continued in the editorial chair about one year, and was succeeded by 
John M. Lee as editor and manager. Mr. Lee held the position until 
August, 1889, when Jay E. Klock, of Albany, purchased an interest in 
the paper and became editor and manager. Mr. Klock retired June 
15, 1 89 1, to become editor of the Kingston (N. Y.) Freeman. He was 
succeeded on the Times by John Crowley, jr. Mr. Crowley purchased 
the interest of his partners in July, 1892, and is now editor and sole 
proprietor. The Times is independent in politics, and a bright and ably 
conducted paper. 

The death-roll of newspapers in Herkimer county is a long one, as 
it is in all other districts where numerous journals have been started by 
ambitious publishers and editors. The brief careers of many of these 
wrecks are noted in the history of other towns in this volume. 


The Republican Farmer's Free Press was removed to Little Falls from 
Herkimer (see history of Herkimer) and its name changed to the Her- 
kimer County Whig. It was published by Larned W. Smith, and died 

In 1839 Edward M. Griffing established The Enterprise and con- 
tinued its publication about two years. He then started the Mohazvk 
Mirror, a semi-monthly paper, which expired in 1844 

The Herkimer Freeman was started in Little Falls by O. A. Bowe, 
about 1844, after he had left the Herkimer County Journal, at Herki- 
mer. The Freeman was an abolition organ and lived about six years. 

The Catholic Telegraph was first issued at Little Falls June 8, 1878. 
It was edited by Rev. James M. Ludden and M. J. Ludden. In Janu- 
ary, 1 88 1, the paper was removed to Albany and was discontinued a 
few years later. 

T\\& Dairyman s Record, & semi-monthly, was started February 15, 
1859, by A. W. Eaton. In May, i860, its name was changed to the 
Dairy Farmer and issued monthly. In April, 1861, Mr. Eaton sold 
the paper to Ayer & Brigham, and it was discontinued about a year 

Water Works. — Little Falls had little water supply in which it could 
reasonably feel pride until very recent years. With pipes in some of 
the streets and indifferent sources to rely upon, the village for many 
years seriouslj' felt the need of a better supply of water for domestic 
and fire extinguishing purposes. The reason given for this state of 
affairs was chiefly the apparently insurmountable engineering difficulties 
to be encountered in the construction of new works, with the.attendant 
expense. For several years previous to 1885 the subject of a better 
water supply had been agitated, and finally on tlie 2ist of May, 18S5, 
the trustees appointed a committee of twelve prominent citizens to act 
with them in investigating the subject. The members of the com- 
mittee were Hon. George A. Hardin, chairman ; Michael Reddy, 
Titus Sheard, J. D. Feeter, R. Walrath, D. H. Burrell, S. M. Richmond, 
Lorenzo Carryl, Watts T. Loomis, Z. C. Priest, William I. Skinner, and 
J. R. Stebbins. This committee visited and inspected all the practi- 
cable sources of supply and procured analyses of the waters. The result 
of these investigations was the selection of Beaver Brook as the best 


and most available source. The committee reported unanimously in 
favor of the corporation owning the works and on the source selected. 

On the 3d of July, 1885, the Board of Trustees organized themselves 
into a Board of Water Commissioners as follows : J. J. Gilbert, presi- 
dent ; C. J. Palmer, secretary; Lyman Timmerman, treasurer; Victor 
Adams, W. R. Chappie, Charles Benedict, George W. Shall, Charles 
Bailey, D. J. Mesick, commissioners. This board was temporary and 
to be succeeded by a permanent one when the necessarj' legislation 
should have been procured. 

An election was ordered for August 20, 1885, to decide whether the 
village was in favor of adopting the plans of the committee, at which 
429 tax payers voted in favor and iio against the plans; and 864 
electors voted in favor and 141 against. Upon the announcement of 
this result a popular jubilee was held at which the inhabitants gener- 
ally expressed their satisfaction after the customary American pro- 
gramme. October 6, 188.5, the commissioners secured the services of 
Stephen E. Babcock, civil engineer, of Troy, N. Y., and a contract was 
made with him to superintend the construction of the proposed works 
at a salary of $3,000 per annum. Mr. Babcock and his assistants com- 
pleted the surveys of the entire system by December 25, 1885. An 
act was then prepared to transfer the duties of the water commissioners 
of the village to a Board of Water Commissioners, whicli became a law 
on the 1 1 th of February, 1886. Under this act the following commis- 
sioners were chosen : Watts T. Loomis, five years ; William I. Skin- 
ner, four years; Charles J. Palmer, three years; David H. Burrell, two 
years ; all dating from January i, 1886. An act to authorize the issue 
of $250,000 in bonds was passed March 8, 1886. Sealed proposals 
were received up to May, 1886, for constructing the Beaver Creek 
conduit, eight miles long, dam and inlet chamber ; for the construc- 
tion of a distribution reservoir and about one mile of open canals; 
for trenches and laying the system of distribution complete, about 
sixteen miles ; and for the valves and hydrants complete. All of these 
contracts were successfully let to responsible persons. The reservoir 
and conduit were brought into use July 15, 1887; the distribution 
reservoir was not fully completed until October, 1888; but the pipe 
lines were so arranged temporarily that water was delivered after 



October 28, 1886. An additional feed pipe line was subsequently 
constructed to connect at William street at a cost of $15,000, in order 
to prevent the possibility of ever being without water for a day or two 
through the breakage of the original line. For the completion of the 
great work an act was passed April 18, 1887, authorizing the raising of 
a further sum of $25,000. This sum was still found inadequate, and on 
the 8th of May, 1888, an act was passed authorizing the issue of bonds 
to the further amount of $30,000, making in all $305,000. The cost 
of the works averaged $11,115 P^"" rnile, which was lower than the 
average cost of water works in cities and villages throughout the 
country. The commissioners and the citizens' committee estimated 
that the sum of $21,500 per annum would have to be realized for the 
maintenance of the works and meeting the assumed obligations, as 
follows: Fixed charges of interest, $10,000; cost of maintenance, 
$5,500; for sinking fund, $6,000. A system of rates was established 
in accordance with this estimate, charging $5 each for ordinary stores 
and dwellings. 

No public improvement can be conceived that would confer a greater 
benefit upon Little Falls than has this system of water works, and while 
it has created a considerable debt, the burden is generally cheerfully 
assumed. The present commissioners are : Chas. J. Palmer, president ; 
Hadley Jones, secretary; Rollin H. Smith, Rugene Walrath. 

The Fire Department. — The early action of the village toward pro- 
viding for the extinguishment of fires has been noticed. The first 
company " No. I " was organized in 1808 by Captain Solomon Lock- 
wood, and in 181 1 the following persons were members of this company: 

Solomon Lockwood, captain ; Rufiis Sawyer, Amos Parkhurst. Josiah Hazen, Isaac 
Stevenson, Felix Dutoher, Josiah Perry, Thomas Battle, Benjamin Carr, Thomas Gould, 
Henry Frey, Benjamin Bowen, John O. Mclntyre, Matthias B. Bellows, Thomas Smith, 
William Girvan, Brayton Buckland, John Protheroe, John Phillips, Washington Brit- 
ton, George W. Angel, Charles Hinkley, Wiliiam T. Dodge, Henry Holmes, James 
Beattie, George Plato. The engine liouse then stood a little west of the Girvan Hou-se 

The organization of Protection Fire Company No. 2 took place June 
19. 1835, and its headquarters were on the north side of German street. 
The first engine was a " goose-neck " hand machine, and later a Button 
steamer. Cascade Fire Company No. i was organized October 11, 


1853, and reorganized November 29, 1873. The original members 
were as follows : 

Henry P. Alexander, Horace M. Burch, James Feeter, William Usher, James R 
Fisher, Stephen Farnhain, Hiram McChesney, William T. Wheeler, William Beattit-, 
Henry Wiegand, James Strossman, William Ellison, William H. Anable, George Ash- 
ley, John Shaunberg, James Roe, S. J. Galpin, Nelson Rust, John Feeter, A. Rathbun, 
M. E. Fuller, William H. Cressey, Joseph Boyer, jr, James G. Reals, James Churchill, 
James Levee, William Ingham, William Genett and S. Sherman. 

General Herkimer Company No. 3 was organized Jul}' 3, 1857, with 
the following officers : 

J. Satterlee, foreman ; J. B. Eysaman, first assistant ; J. Yosburgh, second assistant : 
H. Fralick, secretary; P. G. Potts, treasurer. 

The fire department, as it exists at the present time, was organized 
under special act of the Legislature May i, 1886, which authorized a 
commission to take control of both the fire and the police departments. 
The property of the fire department consisted of three steam fire engines, 
one hook and ladder truck and appurtenances, and one chemical engine. 
These continued in use until 1888, when the construction of the present 
water works rendered the engines almost wholly unnecessary. The 
companies which had been connected with the steamers were reorgan- 
ized into hose companies, while the hook and ladder and chemical com- 
panies remained as they were. 

Previous to the construction of the water works each company con- 
sisted of a maximum of sixty men. This number is still retained in the 
hook and ladder and the chemical companies, while the maximum of 
the hose companies was reduced to thirty men each. There is a chief 
engineer and first and second assistant engineers, all subject to the con- 
trol of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. The first board was 
composed as follows : 

S. M. Van Alstine, chairman : S. W. Petrie, M. G. Bronner, J. P. Sharer ; W. S. 
Shepard, clerk. The present board is: M. G. Bronner, chairman; D. F. Herlehey, F. 
Senior, J. S Barnet. 

The cost to the village of the fire department is $4,000 annually. 
An electric fire alarm is in use, comprising twenty alarm boxes placed 
at as many proper points. The alarm is sounded by a steam whistle in 
the electric light works, opposite the New York Central depot. 


Police Department. — Prior to the organization of the Board of Police 
and Fire Commissioners, as above described, the poHce department 
was controlled by the village trustees, and changed with almost every 
change of administration. The creation of the Board of Commissioners 
corrected this evil and gave to the department much greater efificiency. 
The police force now consists of six officers including the chief and as- 
sistant cliief. The present chief of police is Earl W. Harris, with 
Daniel O'Brien assistant chief The cost of the department is $4,000 

Streets and Sewers. — The control of the streets and sewers of the 
village is vested in the Board of Trustees, through a street commis- 
sioner. Marked improvements have been inuagurated in this de- 
partment in recent years. In 1882 a steam stone crusher was purchased 
and broken stone was thenceforth used to a considerable extent in im- 
proving the roadways. In June, 1892, a Springfield steam roller was 
secured, and a beginning has been made upon a system of macadamiz- 
ing which it is intended shall cover all the streets of the village. 

The natural drainage of Little Falls is exceptionally good and sewer 
construction was not begun until 1882. Since that date about fifteen 
miles of sewerage have been constructed in the principal streets. 

Street Lighting. — The first gas for illumination made in Little Falls 
was by the Little Falls Woolen Company and the Saxony Woolen 
Company, who built a plant and made gas from rosin with which to 
light their own factories. This gas plant was purchased by John W. 
and S. B. Stitt and A. G. Story, and in 1853 pipes were laid by them 
in the principal streets of the village and the gas supplied to consumers. 
In 1863 the works were enlarged and the manufacture of coal gas was 
begun. In 1869 the Little Falls Gaslight Company was formed under 
the general State law with a capital of $25,000. 

The directors were G. A. Hardin, S. M. Richmond, W. G. Milligan, W. M. Dorr, 
Lorenzo Carry), J. J. Gilbert, James Feeter, W. T. Wheeler, and J. R. Stebbius. 

In 1886 a new Board of Directors consisting of William Henry 
White, V. S. Watrous and M. J. Leyden, was elected ; William Henry 
White, president. The capital stock was increased to $50,000. A 
modern system of retorts with a capacity of 20,000,000 cubic feet 
annually, a large telescopic holder, and some five miles of new street 


mains were added to the plant ; public lamps were placed on all the 
thoroughfares of the village. In the same year electricity was also sup- 
plied for lighting purposes. The present price of gas is based upon a 
sliding scale regulated by the volume used, so that the net rates range 
from $1.75 to $2.25 per thousand cubic feet. 

Little Falls Electric Light and Pozver Co. — This company was or- 
ganized February 29, 1892, with the following officers : 

Watts T. Loorais, president ; Elijah Reed, vice-president; William F. Lansing, sec- 
retary, treasurer, and manager; directors, Watts T. Loomis, William F. Lansing, Nel- 
son R. Gilbert, Elijah Reed, James H. Ives. 

The capital stock is $30,000, which is paid up. The Thompson- 
Houston direct current system and the alternating incandescent 
system are in use. The steam power employed is* 350 horse power, 
and more than lOO two-thousand-candle power arcs and about 500 
sixteen-candle power incandescent lights are in use, and the number is 
rapidly increasing. 

Herkimer County Batik (now National Herkimer County Bank). — 
This is the first regularly organized banking institution in Little Falls, 
though the oldest citizens remember what was called the Aqueduct 
Association which was in existence in 1806, and issued scrip for the 
accommodation of the business operations of that period. The Herki- 
mer County Bank as a safety fund bank was incorporated on the 14th 
of March, 1833, with a capital stock of $200,000 and began business 
in August of the same year, with the following named directors : 

N. S. Benton, Standish Barry, S. W. Brown, Dudley Burwell, A. Loomis, F. Lansing, 
P. F. Bellinger, F. B. Spinner, Benjamin Carver, David Petrie, H. P. Alexander, John 
Stillwell, and Abijah Mann, jr., with Standish Barry as president and Watts Sherman as 

At the expiration of its charter in 1863, the institution was reorgan- 
ized as an associate bank under the law of 1838, with the same amount 
of capital. 

Tlie directors were H. P. Alexander, V. S. Kenyon, A. Loomis, Hiram Nolion, Wm. 
Ingham, G. N. Willard, Z. C. Priest, James Feeter, and A. G. Story, with H. P. Alex- 
ander as president, and A. G. Story, cashier. 

In 1865 the bank was converted into the Herkimer County National 
Bank of Little Falls, with the same amount of capital as before. 


mains were added to the plant ; pub: re placed on 


b\- tllr \ 


Der thousa 

Li:.:. ;-u.7. 

QZ\\\7.fd. Febrii , 



son R. GiUjerL, KlijaU lU 

The capital stock _ 
Houston direct current 
system are in use. t'''- 
and more than lOO 
sixteen-candle power 
rapidly increasing. 

Herkimer County Haitic (nc 
This is the first regularly organ- 
though the oldest citizens ren 
Association which was in exi-!! 
accommodation of the bn^' 
mer County Bank as a sai- 
of March, 1833, with a capital 
in AutriHi of t!ie same \-car, v.' 

•J rciccr Cf.— ibis cunipany 'A 
the following}; officers : 

; William F. Lansii. 
■i, William K. Lansinj 

)aid up. The Thomns 
'ernating incanci'- 

> ,.d is" 350 horse y- 
power arcs and aboiM 

■ use, and the numuci 

County Ben: " 
u in Littl- 
called the Aq: 

■i issued scrip 1 
iod. The 
iiated on ti 

o and began bi. 

: ;nied directors 

Ki)llu'ell, and Abijah Mann, jr., 


At the expiration of its charter in 
ized as an associate bank i-'' - *' — 
of capital. 

istitution was reorgan 

:;ul:on. \Vf. 

H. p. Alt- 

Bank of Little Falls, with ilie -. 

ity Nation^ 


Town of little falls. 291 

Its directors were H. P. Alexander, V. S. Kenyon. Wm. Ingham, G. N. Willard, 
James Feeter, Z. 0. Priest, W. Starr, George A. Hardin, and A. G. Story, with the 
same president and cashier as above mentioned. 

On the 31st of October, 1878, a circular was issued by the bank an- 
nouncing its going into liquidation, and its immediate organization on 
the following day as the National Herkimer County Bank, with the 
same officers and management, and $250,000 capital. The bank con- 
ducted its business in the old Beattie building until the completion of 
its own structure, corner of Albany and Ann streets in 1833, when it 
removed thereto. 

The present directors are Wm. G. Milligan, A. G. Story, Lorenzo Carryl, Sclmyler R. 
Ingham, Geo. A. Hardin, David H. Bnrrell, Titus Sheard, Alex W. Shepard, Jacob Zoller. 

Following are the names of the successive presidents and cashiers of 
the bank : 

Presidents, Standish Barry, N. S. Benton, H. P. Alexander, A. G. Story, Z. C. 
Priest, Wm. G. Milligan. Cashiers, Watts Sherman, A. G. Story, William G. Milligan, 
Albert Story. 

The present vice-president is David H. Burrell ; S. J. Waters, jr., tel- 
ler ; George D. Smith, Gilbert Lyon, E. B. Waite, jr., bookkeepers. 
This is now the largest banking institution in Herkimer county, and has 
adopted a liberal policy toward the business interests of the community. 
Its deposits amount to more than $1,000,000, and it has not failed to 
make regular dividends in the sixty years of its existence. 

Litiie Falls National Bank. — This bank was organized in December, 
1878, and business was begun early in the year 1879 in the block on the 
corner of Main and Ann streets, with the following officers: 

President, Seth M. Richmond; vice-president, E.C.Rice; cashier, Amos A. Bradley ; 
teller and assistant cashier, W. S. Feeter ; directors, S. M. Richmond, James Feeter, 
Isaac Small, B. C. Rice, J. H. Ives, R. H. Smith, A. L. Eaton, William Beattie, George 

The capital of the bank is $100,000 and it now has surplus and prof- 
its of $42,000. This has been a prosperous institution since its organ- 
ization. The chief officers of the bank remain as at first, with the 
exception of cashier, in which J. D. Feeter succeeded W. S. Feeter, 
who had succeeded Amos A. Bradley. L. O. Bucklin is the present 
assistant cashier, and the following are the directors: 


S. M. Richmond, Isaac Small, James H. Ives, E. C. Rice, J. D. Feeter, J. H. Bucklin, 
A. L. Eaton, George Nelson, R. H. Smith. 


The Stotie Mill. — It is known that a grist mill and saw-mill were in 
operation at Little F"alls durin^^ the Revolutionary War and were de- 
stroyed by the tories and Indians. The old stone mill was erected early 
in the present century, the exact date being now unknown. It passed 
through the hands of many proprietors, and was often repaired and 
improved. It stands on the north bank of the Mohawk River, about fift\- 
rods below the head of the falls. Among the more recent proprietors wa.s 
George A. Feeter. It was for a while in use as a manufactory of 
wooden packing-boxes for knit goods. In November, 1892, VV. Staf- 
ford & Co. leased the building and equipped it with machinery for 
building the Snyder & Fisher rib knitting machine, which they are now- 

Another ancient manufactory was the paper-mill, the site of which 
was sold by General Bellinger in 1828 to Sprague & Dann. It stood 
just below the grist-mill on the south side of tlie river, was built of 
wood and the power was supplied by water from the same dam used for 
the grist and saw- mills adjoining it. Among those who at various peri- 
ods occupied the mill were Ezra Sprague, David Paige, M. VV. Priest, 
John Satterly, and Philo and Elijah Reed ; the latter continued the 
manufacture of paper until about 1862, when the building was pur- 
chased by the owners of the cotton factory and converted into dwellings. 

The Henry Cheney Hammer Company. — Occupies 'the site of the Will- 
iam Ingham Fulling and Carding Mill, the first mill site sold in Little 
Falls. In the spring of 1856 Henry Cheney came to Little Falls from 
Otsego county and began the manufacture of hammers, the factory be- 
ing situated on Mill street. About the year 1874 he began the manu- 
facture of axes also, and carried on an extensive business. After Mr. 
Cheney's death in 1879 hammers only were made. In July, i88i,a 
stock company was organized under the above name, which bought the 
property and business from the Cheney estate, largely increased the 
facilities, and added late and improved rnachinery. The capacity of 
the factory is about sixty dozen hammers per day. The officers of 


the company are : S. R. Ingham, president; George D. Waterman, 
secretary and treasurer. 

Rockton Knitting- Mills. — A few rods below the head of the falls, on 
the south side of the river, General Christopher P. Bellinger erected, 
about 1810, a small grist-mill, and some years later a saw-mill. These 
two mills were operated until 1844. In 1837 a distillery was connected 
with the grist-mill by Moses Drake, and they were in operation until they 
were demolished to make room for a large stone cotton manufactory, 
four stories in height. It was erected by a company of citizen stock- 
holders, incorporated under the State laws, and was named the " As- 
torogan Cotton Mills." After several years the company failed, and 
the property passed into possession of non-resident proprietors. Gar- 
ner & Co., of New York, were the last to operate it as a cotton factory. 
They manufactured about 1,500,000 yards of print cloths annually. 
On the death of Mr. Garner the mill was idle for a while. W. W. Whit- 
man purchased the property in 1885, and since that time has success- 
fully operated it as a knitting- mill for manufacturing knit underwear 
for men, women and children. Mr. Whitman was formerly of the mer- 
cantile firm of Burrell & Whitman. January i, 1891, R. S. Whitman 
became a member of the firm. From 150 to 175 hands are employed. 

The saw-mill now run by Benton I. Cooper, who leased the property 
of D. W. Ladue in 1892, stands on a small island near the north shore, 
a few rods above the grist-mill, and has, like the grist-mill, had a succes 
sion of proprietors and tenants. The business carried on by Mr. Cooper 
at present consists in the running of a saw- mill, cheese box factory and 
a cider-mill. Mr. Ladue had worked in Ingham's cheese-box factory 
until he had obtained a knowledge of the business, when he bought out 
Mr. Ingham in 1855, and in 1867 he purchased the saw-mill of William 
I. Skinner. Thus the business was combined and has been successfully 
carried on since. In the year 1875 he commenced manufacturing cider. 
In December, 1868, Harvey Schuyler was admitted to partnership, and 
the firm was known as Ladue & Schuyler. Mr. Schuyler subsequently 
retired, and Mr. Ladue continued the business until 1892, when he 
leased to Mr. Cooper, as above mentioned. 

Dettinger & Draper's box factory is the successor of the Little Falls 
box factory, which was purchased in 1890. Wooden boxes for knit 


goods are largely made, and planing, matching and general carpenter 
work done. 

Sask and Blind Factory. — In the fall of 1846 A. G. Harris, of Little 
Falls, and Clark Houghton, of Eatonville, erected a building and put in 
machinery for the manufacture of sash and blinds. In the ensuing win- 
ter they failed and in the spring of 1847 the building was rented by W. 
B. Houghton, who afterwards purchased it. He and his brother, J. G. 
Houghton, conducted the business until about 1855, when Byron K. 
Houghton was admitted to the firm, the style becoming Houghton & 
Son, which it continued until 1863. Between 1863 and 1868, Guilford 
N. Houghton had an interest in the business. In 1885 Newell & Little 
rented the property from the estate of B. K. Houghton and conducted 
the business until 1892, when Mr. Newell retired. 

Valley Flouring Mills. — These mills were built in the year 1836, by 
Rodney Durkee, the machinerj' being from Utica, where it was manu- 
factured. They have always been operated as flour and feed mills, have 
passed through various hands, and have been idle part of the time. In 
1886 they were purchased by William A. Ingham, and in recent years 
have been greatly improved. They are operated by water, contain 
three runs of stone and all the machinery requisite for a first-class mill. 
The capacity is 1,000 bushels per day. 

The extensive Mohawk Mills, for the manufacture of woolen goods, 
were once an industry of considerable importance. The buildings are 
on Mill street. The plant began by the erection of buildings by 
the Little Falls Woolen Company in 1842; they were succeeded by 
the Wool Growers' Manufacturing Company, whose business was 
closed in 1852. J. W. Stitt & Co., of Philadelphia, purchased the factory 
and operated it twelve or fifteen years and more than doubled the ex- 
tent of the plant. It finally passed into possession of A. T. Stewart & 
Co., the celebrated New York merchants, and is now owned by Albert 
B. Hilton. The buildings have been unoccupied for some time. 

Little Falls Box Factory. — In the year 1872 Victor Adams began the 
manufacture of paper boxes with one assistant, at the corner of Main 
and Ann streets. The present factory on East Mill street was built in 
1879, and comprises a four-story brick building and a two-story build- 
ing, equipped with all requisite machinerj' for the manufacture of paper 

I{^c-/y^ Wat/XL 


and wooden boxes. A forty five horse power engine and one hundred 
horse power water wheel furnish the power. Over lOO operatives are 

Saxony Woolen-Mills. — This establishment is situated on East Mill 
street a little below the bridge. The buildings were erected about 1850 
by TiumbuU, French & Co , the firm being composed of Earl Trum- 
bull, Joseph French, Washington Van Driesen, J. N. Lake, Dexter Al- 
den, and J. S. Aldridge. They first began the manufacture of ingrain 
carpet, which they continued for some years. The property came into 
possession of Seth M. Richmond and Amos and Charles King in 1882, 
and the manufactured product now consists of high grade woolen 
underwear ; about 225 hands are employed. The immediate manage- 
ment is in the hands of Charles King, son in law of Mr. Richmond. 

The MacKinno7i Knitting- Mill. — In February, 1881, Robert Mac- 
Kinnon came from Cohoes, and in company with Robert Ablett and 
Walter Hume, purchased the knit goods business of Greene & Girvan 
and began business under the style of Ablett, MacKinnon & Co., in the 
Loomis building on Mill street. The business grew rapidly, and in 
1887 Mr. MacKinnon withdrew from the firm and purchased the site he 
now occupies, then including wooden buildings, wherein he began the 
manufacture of knit goods. His success was remarkable, and the de- 
velopment of his business was such that in September, 1889, he began 
the erection of his present large brick mill on the same site. The 
building is four stories and a basement and 129x62 feet in area. This 
mill was started in the spring of 1891, and the business under Mr. 
MacKinnon's energetic and sagacious management has continued in ex- 
ceptional prosperity. The mill is one of the most thoroughly equipped 
in the State, lighted by electricity, furnished with automatic sprinklers, 
speaking tubes, etc About 1,000 dozen garments are manufactured 
daily, and the product has an annual value of about $800,000. On the 
pay-roll are 550 names. (See biography of Mr. MacKinnon in later 
pages of this work.) 

Riverside Ktiitting-Mills. — In the year 1881 Robert Ablett came to 
Little Falls and began the manufacture of knit underwear, as a member 
of the firm of Ablett, MacKinnon & Co. This firm was reorganized 
in 1884 as Ablett & MacKinnon, and in 1886 Mr. MacKinnon with- 


drew. Mr. Ablett continued alone for a time, after which, until 1891, 
the mill remained idle. In that year Rugene Walrath fitted the mill 
with new machinery and began manufacturing men's fine Balbriggan 
underwear, with success. About 100 hands are employed and 125 
dozen garments are made daily. 

Pork Packing, Etc. — One of the extensive industries of the village is 
that of Jacob Zoller, on East Mill street, who is engaged in packing 
pork and dealing in cheese, butter, eggs, etc. He began in i860, and 
has since steadily increased his business. In 1883 he erected his pres- 
ent extensive building, of stone, three stories high, which is fully 
equipped with all necessary facilities for cold storage and packing. 

J. S. Barnet & Bro. — A tannery has been in existence on the site 
now occupied by this firm for many years, and was built and carried on 
by Nelson Rust. He was followed by Van Vechten & Weeks, and 
later by Gilbert & Weeks, who sold to the present proprietors in 1885. 
In 1887 the capacity of the tannery was doubled, and the product is 
now about i ,000 wax calf skins per day. The firm has a salesroom at 27 
Spruce street, New York, and another in Boston. They also operate a 
large tannery at Gloversville and one at Canisteo. (See biography of 
J. S. Barnet in later pages of this volume.) 

The Little Falls Paper Cotnpatiy — In 1857 the firm of S. M. & A. 
Richmond, associated with E. B. Waite, built a paper-mill on the lower 
falls, which they operated until 1888, when it was sold out to the Little 
Falls Paper Company. The members of this company are chiefly non- 

Titus Sheard Company. — On the site and in the building once occu- 
pied by D. & J. Petrie's foundry, corner of Furnace and Main streets, 
is now situated the prosperous knit goods manufactory of the Titus 
Sheard Company. In 1880 Mr. Sheard, who was then manufacturing 
woolen yarns on Loomis Island, across the river, converted the old 
foundry into a knitting mill and began the manufacture of knit goods. 
The business increaseil and in 1881 he built a new mill. In 18S4 George 
White and Frank Senior were admitted to partnership, the firm name 
being Titus Sheard & Co. In 1886 a large store- house was built oppo- 
site the mill, on John and Main streets. In January, 1888, a stock com- 
pany was organized, known as the Titus Sheard Company, with the fol- 

y/U^^^^^r:^^ ^^^^: 


^^,^^:^^£ ^^^^^^^>^^^ 


lowing officers : Titus Sheard, president ; George Wliite, superintendent ; 
Frank Senior, treasurer ; Wallace Hose, secretary. The company man- 
ufactures knit shirts and drawers, and the mill has a capacity of 60,000 
dozen annually, of an approximate value of $500,000. About 300 
hands are employed. The annual pay roll is $1 10,000, and the mijjl 
consumes about 750,000 pounds of clean wool per year. The produ(it 
is sold directly to the wholesale trade. / 

The Little Falls Knittitig Company — Was organized in October, 1872, 
with Titus Sheard as president, D. H. Burrell, vice-president, and J. J. 
Gilbert, secretary. The original capital stock was $60,000. They 
purchased their building of Mitchell & Bailey, who erected it in 1872, 
and began the manufacture of knit underwear in March, 1873. The 
company now operates twelve sets of cards and employs 250 hands. 
The factory is situated on the north side of the river, at the head of 
the old canal of the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company. The 
officers are Charles Bailey, president; J. J. Gilbert, vice-president; Eli- 
jah Reed, secretary and treasurer; Squire Bailey, superintendent. 

The Pike Knittiftg- Machine Co^npany — Is located on Elizabeth street. 
This business was begun with the late Michael Reddy as a partner in 
the fall of 1886. Mr. Reddy died, and in the spring of 1888 Mr. Pike 
purchased his interest. The business is prosperous and an industry 
of growing importance. 

Chris. Hansen's Laboratory. — This is a branch of the main house in 
Copenhagen, Denmark, which has a world-wide reputation. The 
branch was first established in New York in 1878, but in 1881 was re- 
moved to Little Falls, the center of a great dairying industry. The 
products of the laboratory are Hansen's Butter Color, Danish Rennet 
Extract, Cheese Color, Rennet Tablets, etc. The establishment was 
located opposite the New York Central Railroad depot until 1891, when 
Lock Island, in the Mohawk in the eastern part of the village, was pur- 
chased of the Benton estate and its name changed to Hansen's Island. 
A heavy retaining wall was constructed to protect the western side of 
the island against high water, and a commodious stone building erected. 
The factory is reached by the iron bridge which was built by the town 
in 1892, at a cost of $15,000. This branch was founded by and is un- 
der the management of J. D. Fredericksen, a native of Denmark. The 


products are shipped to all parts of this country, to New Zealand, Aus- 
tralia and many parts of Europe. 

On Southern avenue is situated the planing- mill, saw- mill and furni- 
ture factory of P. W. Casler, which was established in 1884. A large 
business is carried on and from fifteen to twenty- five hands are employed. 

Superior Furnace Company. — This company was organized in 1889 
with a capital stock of $40,000, and the following officers: Watts T. 
Loomis, president ; Walter W. Whitman, vice- president ; William G. 
Milligan, treasurer ; William H. Switzer, secretary and manager. The 
works and office are on Mohawk street, occupying a large portion of 
the foundry and machine shop of M. Redd}', to which large additions 
have been made. Three styles of heating furnaces are made — for hot 
air, a combination of hot air and steam, and hot water. 

Reddys Machine Shop and Foundry. — A paper-mill was erected in 
Little Falls in 1 830 by William J. Pardee, and after operation for some 
time was conducted by M. W. Priest and William Paige, and was 
burned in 1839. It was rebuilt by S- M. & A. Richmond of wood. 
It was again burned July 13, 1853, and was rebuilt in brick in the same 
year. The Richmonds sold it to Butcher, Lamb & Senior, who used 
the building as a shoddy mill. It was next owned by Owens & Petrie, 
who manufactured starch there. Mr. Petrie sold it to J. J. Gilbert, and 
he transferred it to Michael Reddy. Early in the history of the village 
General Bellinger sold to Alanson Ingham a site for a felting and cloth- 
ing works.. Mr. Ingham erected a wooden building and carried on the 
business several years. The building was then converted into a ma- 
chine shop, and a foundry was established in connection. After pass- 
ing through several hands^it was purchased in 1839 by Michael Reddy. 
This site and the paper-mill property above described, purchased in 
1886 by Mr. Reddy, has been converted by rebuilding and additions 
into the present extensive works. Upon the death of Mr. Reddy the 
property passed to his sons, Robert, James, and P-dward Reddy. Cast 
gearings and other foundry work are now produced, and thirt\- hands 

Yarn-Mill. — The old yarn factory on Loomis island, near the Reddy 
foundry, was built by Earl Trumbull between 1845 and 1848, on the 
site of Heath & Barber's foundry, which was one of the very early 


manufacturing establishments of the place. It was erected originally 
by Henry Heath and James N. Barber, who had leased the site and 
power from General Bellinger. Trumbull's lease was from A. Loomis, 
who succeeded General Bellinger. The plant was destroyed by fire in 
1853, and Mr. Loomis rebuilt it the same year. From 1851 to 1868 
the mill was operated by Gay & Barber. It was then sold to John C. 
Cunningham, who sold it at the end of a year, and in 1870 it came into 
the possession of Titus Sheard. He successfully operated the factory 
for a number of years. It is now used as a store-house by the Superior 
Furnace Company. 

Rock Island Paper Mill — This mill is situated on Mohawk street, 
south side of the river. It was erected by Arphaxed Loomis on the 
site of a woolen- mill which was built by Erastus Hovey in 1845. It 
was also used as a flax-dressing mill, and finally as a woolen mill. In 
1877 William Kingston & Co. leased the mill of Mr. Loomis and began 
the manufacture of paper, which was continued until i88i. From that 
year until 1883 the mill was idle, and in the latter year it was burned. 
Mr. Loomis erected a new building on the site, and Mr. Kingston 
equipped it with new machinery and again began manufacturing paper. 
The product is now building paper, and the capacity of the mill three 
and one-half tons per day. 

A few rods below the paper-mill on Loomis Island, above men- 
tioned, was in early times a small machine shop which was carried on 
by James Tillinghast and was destroyed by the flood of 1865. On the 
site was erected a last factory which was operated by Kingston & Co. 
It has been unoccupied for several years. 

The Warrior Mower Cojnpany. — This is one of the once prosperous 
industries of Little Falls that has gone out of existence. The company 
was incorporated in 1868 for the manufacture of mowing machines 
under patents to Frank Bramer. A large manufacturing plant was 
erected and business at once begun. The machines were successful and 
for many years found a market in all parts of the world. Three thou- 
sand or more were made annually. The business was given up in 1891 
and the buildings are now used for storage. 

Astoroiiga Knitting- Mills. — In 1858 J. J. Gilbert built a stone fac- 
tory on Seeley Island, south bank of the Mohawk, in the eastern part of 


the village and began manufacturing starch. Connected with the fac- 
tory was an elevator on the canal about twenty rods distant, which re- 
ceived grain from boats and conducted it to the factory. The business 
was continued until 1884, Mr. Gilbert in the mean time having died. 
In 1885 the building was remodeled by the estate, and, with the Wood- 
bridge ])aper-mi!l, converted into a knitting mill ; it was operated b\- 
(lilbert & Walrath until 1891 when the copartnership expired by limit- 
ation, Mr. Walrath retired, and the business was continued by J. J. 
Gilbert, a son of the founder of the original factory. He manufactures 
a variety of knitted underwear. The elevator alluded to above is now 
in use for elevating and storing grain. 

Shoddy and Wool Extract. — This business was established by Smith 
& Bushnell in 1882, on a small scale, the works being situated on 
Loomis Island. In 1887 the business had so much increased that a 
new mill was built on Moss Island, and at present fifty-five hands are 
employed, and the product is sold throughout the country. 

Hotels. — In early times, on the then famous Mohawk turnpike, where 
the old building now occupied by Ransom & Wilcox still stands, on 
Main street, one Morgan kept a stage-house, and was succeeded by 
John McKinster. A handsome gilt buck's head and horns projected from 
the lintel. Here the four-horse post coaches halted to change teams 
and for meals and other refreshment. After the Erie Canal was com- 
pleted these coaches gradually disappeared from the turnpike road, as 
travelers went mostly by canal. The taverns, which were quite numer- 
ous in the village at that period, were, one by one, discontinued, the 
buildings being converted into dwelling houses or stores. A few of the 
best public houses, however, remained, some of which have been kept 
as such up to the present. 

The Girvan House, corner of Main and Ann streets, is one of the 
landmarks of the village, and was originally erected for a dwelling by 
Eben Britton, father-in-law of Nathaniel S. Benton. Subsequently Mr. 
Benton raised the building one story and added to it on the eastern 
and western ends. It has been kept by various proprietors, and is now 
under the management of James ZoUer. 

A hotel long known as the Hinchman House stood on the ground 
where is now situated the Hardin & Wheeler block on Main street. 


This was burned in March, 1S77, and George W. Shall, who was popu- 
lar as a landlord, converted two stores in the Hinchman property into a 
hotel, and successfully conducted it until 1 891, when Messrs. Lasher & 
Weatherwax leased the property of Mr. Shall, and changed the name 
to Hotel Rockton. On the i6th of March, 1892, Mr. Lasher retired 
from the firm and A. G. Weatherwax became sole proprietor. 

The Metropolitan Hotel, corner of Main and Mary streets, now kept 
by Joseph MuUin, stands on a site that has long been used for hotel 
purposes. In 1882 Mr. Mullin purchased the property, then known as 
the Bradford House, of Mr. N. A. Bradford, and rebuilt it into a hand- 
some structure of four stories. 

The Grand Central Hotel was erected in 1875 on the site formerly 
occupied by the dwelling of the late George H. Feeter, which was 
owned and occupied by Peter J. Casler in 1866. Mr. Casler kept the 
house several years, but it is now used for other purposes. 

There are several other less important public houses in the village 
which do not call for special mention. 



THIS town is situated near the center of Herkimer county, as far as 
relates to the thickly settled southern part, and is bounded on the 
north by Norway ; on the east by Salisbury and Manheim ; on the south 
by Little Falls and Herkimer, and on the west by Newport and Herkimer. 
It was set off from Norway February 10, 1796, and from it a part of 
Newport was taken in 1806, and a part of Little Falls in 1829. The 
surface of the town is a hilly upland, the center rising into a ridge nearly 
one thousand feet above the West Canada Creek. The soil on the up- 
lands is mostly clay and in the valleys it is gravelly. It is quite well 
watered with small streams, and West Canada Creek flows along the 
southwest border. The town comprises the nortii half of Glen's pur- 
chase and the first allotment of the Royal Grant. 


Fairfield was first settled in 1770 by three German families named 
Maltanner, Goodbrodt, and Shaver, who located on the Royal Grant, 
about half a mile northeast of the site of F'airfield village and near to- 
gether. From the first- named family Maltanner Creek received its 
name. Quoting from Judge Benton : 

These people were sent there by Sir William Johnson, to make an opening in his 
Royal Grant. They had never been suspected by the Americans of being friendly to 
their cause; nor could they be charged with disloyalty to the king. In 17^9 a party 
of Indians came to this little settlement, but one of their number being sick, they kept 
shy, as an Indian can, about ten days, to allow their comrade to recover, when, with a 
yell and a whoop, and brandishing their tomahawk.'!, they fell upon Sir John Johnson's 
tenants!, captured two of the Maltanners, father and son, killed a little girl sixteen years 
old. of the Shaver family, and then burned up all Sir John's houses and buildings in 
the settlement. The Goodbrodt and Shaver families and some of the Maltanners es- 
caped to tell the sad story of their bereavement and to their rebel neighbors. 
The Maltanners were taken to St. Regis by the Indians, where they remained three 
years, and returned in 1782. His majesty's officials in Canada might well suppose the 
two captives, if allowed to return, would not be very hearty and zealous in the royal 
cause, after such treatment; and therefore concluded to detain them. The elder Mal- 
tanner, when he came back, said he met Sir John in Canada, and told him what had 
happened, whereat the gallant knight was exceedingly wrathful, and fulminated big 
words and strong language against the d — d savages, for their conduct in killing, tak- 
ing captive and dispersing his tenants, and burning his houses. He had other tenants 
on the grant, loyal and true, who might be treated m the same way. Sir John no 
doubt felt hurt, not because any tender feeling towards his fellow man had been 
touched, or any law of humanity outraged ; but because tlie same rule of warfare he 
had applied to others, had been, and might again be, visited upon himself. 

There was a German settlement in the town before the Revolution 
near the Manheim line, about four miles north of Little Falls, where 
the Keller, Windecker, Fickert, and other families, who were not of the 
Burnetsfield patentees, settled under the patronage of some of the own- 
ers of the Glen's purchase. Cornelius Chatfield came into Fairfield on 
the 24th of March, 1785, and settled near the site of the village. He 
is believed to have been the first New Englander to arrive after 
the close of the war. Abijah Mann, father of Abijah Mann, jr., came 
in the following May and settled a little west of the village site. These 
were followed by Josiah, David and Lester Johnson, who came from 
Connecticut in 1786; John Bucklin and Benjamin Bowen, from Rhode 
Island; John Eaton, Nathaniel and William Brown, from Massachusetts, 


and Samuel Low in 1787; David Benseley, from Rhode Island, and 
Elisha Wyman and Comfort Eaton, from Massachusetts in 1788 ; Jere- 
miah Ballard from Massachusetts in 1789 ; William Bucklin, the Arnold 
families, Daniel Fenner, Nathan Smith, and Amos and James Haile, 
mostly from Massachusetts, in 1790; Peter and Bela Ward, from Con- 
necticut, in 1791. A large part of these settled southwesterly from 
Fairfield village ; while the Eatons, Browns, Hailes, Arnolds, Bucklins 
and Wards located at what became known as Eatonsville. Jeremiah 
Ballard settled about two miles northeast of Fairfield village. Moses 
Mather, father of Dr. William and Jairus Mather, settled on Bartow 
Hill, but removed to Poland in 1806, where he remained nine years, 
and then returned to this town Jairus Mather is still an influential 
resident of Fairfield. John and Edward Griswold came into the 
town soon after Mr. Chatfield and purchased land on the west of 
the village site. Joseph Teall came in 1788 and bought land of Mr. 
Chatfield, which extended into what is now the village. Robert Nolton, 
father of Judge Hiram Nolton, settled just west of the village. John B. 
Fenner came into the town in 1806. Samuel Green was one of the 
early settlers and probably erected the first grist and saw- mill. Many 
of these pioneers have descendants living in the town, as will appear. 

On Maltanner's Brook there is a picturesque water-fall. In that 
vicinity Daniel Marvin was an early settler and had a small grist-mill 
the'-e at a very early date. Richard Bushnell succeeded Marvin. Mer- 
rell Hudleston came into possession of the farm on which the water- fall 
is situated and improved the grounds about the falls for a picnic resort. 
He gave the place the name of " Cupid's Retreat," which has ever 
since clung to it. Daniel and Amasa Bushnell were prominent citizens 
and had at one time a fulling-mill just west of where the cheese factory 
is located. 

The first town meeting was held April 6, 1796, when the following 
officers were chosen : 

Supervisor, John Comins; town clerk, Stephen Carpenter; commissioners of high- 
ways, Henry Neely, Abijah Mann, Joseph Willard ; assessors, Roger Kinne, Isaiah 
Johnson, Amos Graves ; overseers of the poor, Abijah Mann, John Eaton ; school com- 
missioner.'!, Nathan Smith, Wilham Lapham, Joseph Mason; constables, Luther Britton, 
John McMichael ; poundmasters, David Brown, Roswell Buell ; fence viewers, David 
Brown, Cornelius Chatfield, Joseph Teall ; collector of rates, Moses Mather. 


At the same meeting the town was divided into twenty-eight road 
districts, and the simple government of the community was established. 

During a considerable period after the first settlement of this town 
the population was greater in number than at the present time. The 
farms were smaller, and grain raising for market at Albany was the chief 
agricultural occupation. Butter and cheese were made for home use, 
but not much more. If grain crops failed, or if, as often happened 
after the canal was opened, prices were very low, money was scarce, 
and the farmers suffered. But the time came to this town, as to many 
others in Herkimer county, when farmers awoke to the importance of 
dairying as a means of bettering their condition. They are among the 
most enterprising to be found anywhere, and embraced the comparative- 
ly new occupation with energy. The result is, that no town in the 
county now excels Fairfield as a dairy center, and years ago it had ac- 
quired the reputation of being the best in the world. 

Joseph Teall has already been mentioned as the first settler on the 
site of Fairfield village. He purchased his land of Abijah Mann, and 
built his dwelling in rear of the old chapel of the academy. The first 
merchants in the village were Nahum Daniels and William Smith, who 
had a store in 1796 ; they were succeeded by Norman Butler, who kept 
a store thirty years or more. Butler also built a saw-mill, and owned 
a grist mill and a distillery, in which Gilbert Dean had preceded him. 
Major Jonathan and Stephen Hallett were early merchants ; Stephen ac- 
quired Jonathan's interest about 1 820, and carried on an extensive 
business both in Fairfield and Norway. He was appointed sheriff of 
the county by the Council of Appointment in 1821, reappointed in 
1822, and in November of the latter year elected to that office, which 
he held until 1826. He died at Fairfield November 19, 1827, aged 
forty years, leaving a wife and two daughters, only one of whom, Mrs. 
X. A. Willard, of Little Falls, survives. Mr. Hallett was succeeded by 
Alexander JI. liuell, who, at the death of the former, assumed the sole 
proprietorship of the business at Fairfield. In connection with differ- 
ent persons, Mr. Buell extended his mercantile business into the neigh- 
boring towns and villages of the county, and his commercial operations 
extended to various parts of the country. He was elected to the As- 
sembly in 1845, and to the Thirty- second Congress from the seven- 


teenth congressional district, composed of Herkimer and Montgomery 
counties, in 1850. He died at Washington, D. C, January 31, 1853, 
aged fifty-two years. F. A. Morey and M. A. Barnes are at present 
merchants in the village. The first frame building in the place was the 
one in which Daniels & Smith had their store. The first tavern was 
kept by Cornelius Chatfield, the pioneer, who was succeeded by John 
D. Waterman; and Israel Jones had a public house which John E. 
Drake now keeps. The first lawyer in the town was William Lapham, 
a native of Ireland, who was here in 1796 ; he became prominent in the 
affairs of the town and combined farming with his legal labors. William 
D. Ford was an early lawyer and became member of Congress ; and 
Hiram Nolton practiced here at an early day, and afterwards rose to 
the bench. A. sketch of his career will be found in the chapter on the 
Bench and Bar. Arunah C. Smith was an early attorney and first 
judge of the county in 1840. 

Col. Charles Willard came with his father from Saybrook, Conn., in 
1793, and settled in that part of the town of Fairfield known as the 
Platform, where he spent the greater part of his life. In the War of 
1 812 he held a commission, and was on duty at Sackett's Harbor when 
peace was declared. Active, energetic and public- spirited, he was 
widely known and identified with movements for the improvement and 
well-being of the town. He died at Newport, July 14, 1862, leaving 
a large family of children. His son, George N. Willard, about sixty 
years ago, was a prominent merchant of Herkimer county. He was 
associated in business with the late Hon. Alexander H. Buell at Fair- 
field and Norway for several years. In 1848 he removed to Newport, 
and subsequently to Utica and Oriskany Falls, continuing in mercantile 
trade at each place. He died at Newport, November 26, 1888. His 
son, Charles P. Willard, is a prominent manufacturer of Chicago. 

Drs. Eastman, Taft and Sherwood practiced medicine here in early 
years, and were followed by Dr. Moses Johnson, Dr. William Mather, 
Dr. Griffin Sweet, Dr. I. N. Willard, and Dr. C. W. Nichols, who is now 
in practice. The present postmaster is W. Lamberson. 

The village of Fairfield has a national reputation as the site of the 
oldest medical college in the United States, and of the oldest academy, 
histories of both of which are found herein. 



Fairfield Seminary. — In the autumn of 1801 Rev. Caleb Alexander, 
a Presbyterian minister residing at Mendon, Mass., came into what was 
then called Western New York, to visit the churches and Indians as a 
missionary. He visited and preached at Norway, Salisbury and Fair- 
field, and during his stay, suggested to the people of the latter place 
the idea of establishing a school of academic grade. The people were 
favorably impressed with the proposition and immediately set about 
raising the necessary funds. Mr. Alexander removed his family from 
Mendon to Fairfield in the spring of 1802, and in connection with 
Captain Moses Mather, became actively engaged in circulating the 
subscription. Sufficient funds were soon procured and on the Fourth 
of July, 1802, the academy building was raised, and in the spring of 
1803 was ready for occupancy. The school was chartered by the Re- 
gents of the University March 15, 1803. The first meeting of the Board 
of Trustees was held April 6, and the school organized April 13, 
with Mr. Alexander as principal. He was an accomp'ished scholar, 
a man of commanding presence and possessed of great tenacity and 
perseverance, and consequently the school was successful and popular 
from the start. 

The Alexandrian Society, an association of students for mutual im- 
provement and practice in extemporaneous speaking, was organized in 
1806, and at the same time the foundation of a library was laid. 

In order to increase the usefulness, and extend the sphere of the 
institution, a building called the " Wooden Laboratory " was erected in 
1808, and Dr. Josiah Noyes employed to give lectures on chemistry 
and the theory and practice of medicine. This course of lectures was 
so largely attended that the building was found too small. 

It was then thought best to erect a larger building and establish a 
medical and anatomical school, so in 1809-10 the stone laboratory was 
built. The new department so increased the number of students in at- 
tendance that another building was required for their accommodation, 
and in 181 1 a stock company was organized which erected the " North 
Building." This building was rented for many years by the trustees of 
the academy and finally purchased by them. 

In January, 18 1 2, Mr. Alexander resigned as principal of the 
academy and Rev. Bethel Judd was elected in his place. During this 

f ' i' 


year the Alexandrian Society was reorganized and tlie name changed 
to Calliopean Society. 

About this time an arrangement was made with Trinity Church, N. Y., 
by which the academy was to receive the sum of $750 annually, on con- 
dition that the principal employed should be an Episcopal clergyman, 
and that four divinity students should be instructed free. From this 
fact the school was sometimes referred to as a " Divinity School." In 
18 1 3 the laboratory was transferred to the Medical College, which had 
been lately chartered. 

In 1 8 14 Rev. Virgil H. Barber was made principal. After about 
two years it was ascertained that this gentleman had changed his re- 
ligious opinions and had become a Catholic. To retain him as prin- 
cipal being therefore in violation of the agreement with the vestry of 
Trinity Church, he was dismissed by the trustees. This Mr. Barber 
was a portly man of fine presence and affable manners, and a classical 
scholar of great acquirements. He had several children, and the Latin 
language was the common medium of conversation in his family. 

The next principal was Rev. Daniel McDonald, under whose ad- 
ministration the school was attended by an unusual number of stu- 
dents who afterwards became eminent in their several professions. 
In 1820 the school received a grant of $5,000 from the State, and with 
this money the stock of the North Building was purchased, the scrip 
being bought up at the rate of seventy cents on the dollar. Dr. Mc- 
Donald left in 1 82 1 to become principal of Geneva Academy, and the 
branch Theological School at F"airfic]d was transferred to Geneva. He 
is said to have been a remarkable man ; was prominent in the organ- 
ization of Hobart College, and for several years its acting principal. 
With Dr. McDonald's departure, the connection of F"airfield Academy 
with Trinity Church was ended. 

Previous to this time frequent efforts had been made to obtain a 
charter for a college at Fairfield, and, in 1816, the Regents granted the 
charter on condition that $50,000 should be raised ; but with the most 
strenuous efforts only about one-half of that amount could be obtained, 
and no college was established. 

A short time before Dr. McDonald's resignation Bishop Hobart was 
earnestly requested to locate at Fairfield a college and theological school 


which he had in contemplation, and, as an inducement, the whole 
academic property was offered free. The bishop did not, however, 
consider the location sufficiently far west, and the proposition was not 
accepted. The academy had now been in operation eighteen years, 
and, as an educational institution, had acquired a reputation unrivaled 
by that of any similar school in the country ; but its financial affairs had 
not been managed in accordance with strict business principles, the ac 
counts had been carelessly kept and many bills remained uncollected, 
so that the Board of Trustees resolved to try a new method of con- 
ducting the school. In the spring of 1821 Rev. David Chassell took 
charge of the school on the following terms, viz. : He was to receive 
all money arising from tuition and all received from the Regents, ex- 
cept what was necessary to keep the buildings in repair. He, virtually, 
had the whole management of the school, having the use of the build- 
ings free of rent. After remaining three years Mr. Chassell left, and 
Charles Avery took the school on similar terms. At the end of three 
years he retired to accept the professorship of mathematics in Hamilton 
College, when Dr. Chassell again took the school and retained the sole 
management until 1840. 

During all this period of twenty years, since the retirement of 
Dr. McDonald, the school had kept the even tenor of its way, main- 
taining its reputation as one of the very best secondary schools in the 
State. Mr. Chassell was an accomplished scholar, an enthusiastic teacher 
and a rigid disciplinarian ; he inspired his pupils with a love of correct 
and thorough scholarship, encouraged them in their ambitious hopes 
and a.spirations, and aided them in every way consistent with his ability. 
He was something of a terror to the idle and mischievous boys, but 
was always regarded with respect and reverence by the energetic and 
industrious students. 

Mr. Chassell left the school in the spring of 184O and the Board of 
Trustees, assuming control, employed Rev. Henry Banister as principal 
During this year the " Waterman Building," known afterward as the 
" Wood Building," was hired and fitted up, and in the fall term a female 
department was organized, with Miss Julia A. Baldwin as preceptress. 

In the summer of 1844, the trustees of the Medical College granted 
the use of the college buildings to the academy, and the "South College" 


was occupied as a Female Seminary at the beginning of the fall term. 
From this time the academy continued its usual course without the 
occurrence of any important events to mark its history until 1852. 
During its whole existence no boarding department had been connected 
with it ; the teachers obtained board where they could, the principal resid- 
ing with his family in the village. The students obtained board at private 
houses, formed clubs or brought food from home, cooking it in their 
rooms. These rooms were unfurnished and at the beginning of the 
year often untidy, presenting a cheerless and forbidding appearance 
to the newcomer. In 1852 the " Laboratory Building" was remodeled 
and the first floor converted into a dining hall and parlors, with kitchen 
in the rear; the two floors above being made into two large recitation 

In 1854, inspired by the enthusiastic talk of Rev. L. D. Stebbins, the 
Board of Trustees resolved to erect a new building on. the academy 
grounds, provide facilities for boarding a large number of students and 
advertise the school as a boarding-school, under the name of "Fairfield 
Classical Academy and Female Collegiate Institute," and also make 
several changes in the methods of conducting its affairs. By extensive 
advertising and a thorough canvass of a large portion of the State, many 
students were secured, and on November 8, what is known as the " Big 
School " opened. The buildings were filled to overflowing and the ex- 
pectations of Mr. Stebbins fully realized, but the low prices that had 
been fixed for board and tuition were insufficient to pay expenses, so the 
rates were necessarily raised, which caused a decrease in the number of 
students, yet it was still large. 

On account of the large school, the students found the opportunities 
for society work too limited, and during the fall term of 1854 a debating 
club was organized, which, after a few weeks, developed into the Philo- 
rhetorean Society. 

Mr. Stebbins soon resigned on account of ill health, and Rev. J. B. 
Van Petten became principal. Under him the school continued large 
and prosperous until the beginning of the Civil War, when several of 
the teachers, and many of the students enlisted. From this time the 
academy, though the numbers were less, continued its usual course for 
many years, and until the high school departments of the union schools 
so reduced the number of students that its prosperity began to decline. 


In 1882 it was decided to obtain money on subscription, pay up all 
debts, repair the buildings and entirely reorganize the school. A stock- 
company was formed, about $5,000 were raised and expended and 
a new charter obtained, in which the name " Fairfield Seminary " was 
substituted for that of "Fairfield Academy." The institution was first 
rented to Gen. Van Petten and afterwards to others at a nominal rent, 
but for various reasons the school was not a success. 

In 1885 the present proprietors, D. D. & F. L. Warne, obtained pos- 
session of the school, and by the application of untiring energy and 
business ability, have restored it to its former standing and popularity. 
Every means has been employed to keep the school in line with 
modern methods of education and render it as efficient and useful as of 
old. In 1 89 1 the War Department detailed an officer to Fairfield for 
the purpose of military drill ; a fine new armor}' was built and a military 
department organized, which promises to add to the success and pros- 
perity of the school. Many persons have been educated here, who 
subsequently became prominent; among them are exjudge Addi- 
son Gardner, ex -Judge Denio, Prof Foster, of Union College, ex- Senator 
A. M. Mills, and Jean R, Stebbins. 

Churches. — Fairfield Central Society of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church was organized P'ebruary i, 1836, with Amos Sherwood, Thomas 
A. Rice, Lina E. Ford, John Green and William Lamberson as trustees. 
Rev. E. W. A. Allen was the pastor. The present house of worship was 
dedicated in July, 1837, and about the same time F"airfield was set off 
from Herkimer circuit, and made a station. Rev. George Gary was 
presiding elder, and Rev. Aaron Adams was pastor at that time, and 
the same persons that composed the board of trustees were also elected 
a board of stewards. The following named clergymen have served as 
pastors of Fairfield station and in the order named : 

Rev. Messrs. Aaron Adams, Isaac L. Hunt, Albert D. Peek, John Loveys, A. W. 
Cummings, F. H. Stanton, L. D. Stebbins, Aaron Adams, J. F. Dayan, Isaac Turney, 
J. C. Vandercook, George G. Hapgood, W. I. Hunt, C. H. Austin, B. E. Whipple, J. 
F. Dayan, Lewis Meredith, Pomeroy Wright, W. H. Anable, Harlow Skeele, W. F. 
Tooke, C. W. Parsons, T. H. McClenthan, J. C. Stewart, Mr. Babcock, M. G. Wads- 
worth, L. B. Gray, J. L. Short, and H. M. Church. The present trustees are : E. C. 
Rice, Milton Ford, Morgan A. Reese, James W. Ford, E. B. Fairchild, D. C. Reese, and 
M. A. Barnes. 



A meeting of a number of Episcopalians of Fairfield was held on the 
5th of January, 1807, and the following persons were chosen as officers 
of a society : Wardens, Andrew A. Bartow and Jonathan Hallett ; 
vestrymen, Stodard Squires, Charles Ward, Elijah Blanchard, William 
Wal<ley, Peter Ward, Philip Paine, Joseph Teall and Abiel Burnett. 
The name of " Trinity Church of the Town of Fairfield " was adopted. 
The lot on which the church stands was purchased of Richard Smith in 
September, 1808, and the house was consecrated October 28, 1809. 
The list of pastors is not available. 

The Village of Middleville — Is situated on West Canada Creek, on 
the western border of the town, and extends across the creek into New- 
port; but a large share of the business portion is in the town of Fairfield. 
The land on which this village stands was owned in early times by 
Richard Kimball, and was sold by him to Sheffield Kinyon (or Ken- 
yon) John McMichael, an early settler, erected the first building on 
the site of the present Spellman House; it was kept as a public house, 
and another was kept in 1807 by Samuel Stevens, nearly opposite where 
George Griswold now lives. In 1808 a Mr. Streeter had a blacksmith 
shop on the site of the dwelling and store of W. W. Mosher (the store 
now occupied by H. E. & D. G. Jackson), and about that time Eber 
Stevens also had a shop. The first bridge across the West Canada 
Creek was built in 1810 by Jacob Wiltsie, and in the same year he 
erected a saw- mill on the site where a mill has stood for many years. 
In the same year a grist- mill was also built on the site of the present 
one, by a stock company. The first school-house was built in 1813. 
Under the union free school system the present commodious house was 
erected. The school is now a graded one, with A. B. Crim as principal. 

Kanata Knitting- Mills. — The subscription list for a manufacturing 
company was started January 10, 1814, the company to be known as 
the Herkimer Manufacturing Company, capital $40,000, divided in 400 
shares of $iOO each, to be paid in installments of $8.50 every three 
months until paid in full. The company was organized to manufacture 
wool, cotton, flax, and iron; -the money subscribed to be used in pur- 
chasing six acres of land at $50 per acre, widening canal, repairing 
dam, erecting buildings, buying machinery and stock. The certificate 
of incorporation was dated January 27, 1814, and was filed in the sec- 


retary of state's office February i, 1814, with the following as stock- 

James Haile, George Kretsinger, Bela Ward, Roland Sears, Jed Baldwin, Joseph 
Lawton, Oliver Ellis, John Burton, Clark Smith, Linus Evarts, Richard Buslinell, Wy- 
inan Eaton, Nathaniel Carpenter;- and the following were named as trustees for one 
year: George Kretsinger, Oliver Ellis, James Haile, Bela Ward, Clark Smith, John 
Burton and Nathaniel Carpenter. 

The dam across the West Canada Creek was already built b\' the 
grist-mill company, and a raceway leading from the dam to grist- mill 
furtlier down the creek. The Herkimer Manufacturing Company 
widened the raceway to their property to about double its former width 
and erected a stone building of five stories 60 by ^6 feet, and a wing 60 
by 28 feet of two stories, the end of the wing being used as a store. 
They put in machinery for the manufacture of cotton sheeting, bed- 
ticking, ropes, and bunting; they also made scythes, axes, pitchforks, 
and hoes. The above continued in existence imtil March 18, 1834, 
when it was dissolved by the chancellor of New York State, bj' peti- 
tion of 

William H. Gordon, Varnum S. Kenyon, Alexander H. Buel, Samuel Griswold, and 
John Farmer as trustees; Zina Kelsey, Clark Smith, John Green, Caleb Sheldon, Ste- 
phen Ayres, David Ford, Henry Ellison, Edward T. Cheever, Benjamin Jenks, Silas 
Thompson, Norman Butler, William M. Cheever, John Farrington, executor of Amos 
Farrington's estate; Truman Cole, administrator of John Cole's estate; Stephen F. 
Carpenter, administrator Nathaniel Carpenter's estate ; Catherine Kretsinger, adminis- 
tratrix, and Abijah Mann, jr., administrator of George Kretsinger's estate; and Aaron 
Griswold, executor of Benoni Ford, stockholders. 

James B. Hunt was appointed receiver, and the property was sold by 
him at auction July 5, 1834, to Henry Ellison, J6hn Farrington, and 
Simeon Osborne, for $8,850. John Farrington purchased the interest 
of his partners about the year 1836, and sold out to Varnum S. Ken- 
yon April 8, 1844. The business was now confined to the manufacture 
of cotton cloth exclusively, and in 1865 the mill was enlarged by an ad- 
dition to the main building of 50 by 36 feet, five stories; also an addi- 
tion to the wing, increasing the output about double. Mr. Kenyon 
conducted the business very successfully until his death, which occurred 
in 1873, and the business was continued by the executors of his estate 
for two years after, and May 5, 1880, the property was sold by them to 


B. W. Nichols and W. W. Montgomery. June 29, 1881, Nichols sold 
his interest to Montgomery. September 18, 1886, the property was 
purchased by Etlwin J. Nelson and Wm. F. Lansing, and the cotton 
machinery was taken out, and after many alterations and repairs, the 
mill was fitted up for a knitting- mill, with woolen cards and all the 
necessary machinery for the manufacture of knit goods. October 6, 
1890, Edwin J. Nelson purchased the interest of Wm. F. Lansing and 
is now conducting the knitting business. The knitting- mills have three 
sets of 60-inch cards, 1,300 spindles, eighteen knitting machines, thirty 
sewing machines, and employ 100 hands. 

One of the early industries of Middleville was the tannery built in 
1 8 14 by John Wood. It was operated by him until about 1840, when 
it passed to possession of George M. Thomas. He continued its oper- 
ation until his death in 1865, when his son, George H. Thomas, became 
the proprietor, and has continued as such to the present time. During 
this long period the establishment has, of course, passed through many 
changes and been greatly enlarged. The annual product is now about 
125,000 calf-skins. 

The post-office was established at Middleville in 18 16 with William 
H. Gordon as postmaster. C. L. Earl is the present postmaster. The 
first store was built by Varnum S. Kenyon where H. E. & D. G. Jack- 
son now carry on trade. In 1828 R. G. Marvin started a clothiery 
where the railroad machine shops are located. The village of Middle- 
ville was incorporated in 1890 with Wallace W. Mosher as the first 
president; he was succeeded by Edwin J. Nelson, and he by Dr. Irv- 
ing S Edsall. 

Churches. — The " Union Religious Society of Middleville" was organ- 
nized April 5, 1825, with the following trustees: Sheffield Kenyon, Will- 
iam H. Gordon, Asahel Harris, Varnum S. Kenyon, and David Ford. 
During that and the succeeding year the society erected a wooden church 
which was dedicated in July, 1827. A committee was appointed to de- 
cide on a time during which the church should be occupied by the vari- 
ous denominations. This church was used as a union church until 
about 1880, services in the latter years being held only at intervals. 
The building finally passed to possession of the Methodists in 1880. 


The First Universalist Society of Middleville was organized Febru- 
ary lo, 1835, by Rev. Joshua Britten, and a coristitution and articles of 
membership were adopted. The subscribers were Climena Scott, Daniel 
Post, Betsey Post, Jonathan Potter, Jeremiah Potter, John and Ira 
Farmer, Bela Ward, Abigail Farmer, Benjamin Keeler, Daniel H. 
Eastman, and W. Weeden. The society had a share in the union 
church until it was sold to the Methodists. In 1882 the new church 
was dedicated, its cost being about $10,000. 

The pastors who have served this church are Rev.?. Joshua Britton, M. B. Smith, 
H. Hathavray, T. J. Whitconib, D. C. Toralin8on. Dolphus Skinner, George W. Skinner, 

0. D. Haynes, T. D. Cook, L. Holmes, H. K. White, H. L. Webster, S. R. Ward, R. H. 
Aldrich, E. F. Pember, E. B. Burgess, G. W. Powell, Herbert Wliitney, and Mary T. 
Whitney, who was the last regular pastor. The church for a few years has been sup- 
plied. The officers are: Wardens. A. W. Ford, A. L. Petrie, Henry L. Ward, H. J. 
Hildreth ; treasurer, A. W. Ford ; clerk, M. C. Crist. 

Episcopal services were formerly held in the Union church, as a mis- 
sion of the Fairfield church. As an outgrowth of this a church was or- 
ganized in 1872 under the name of the Church of the Memorial. A 
handsome church was erected in 187 1-2 at a cost of about $10,000, 
and the rectory has a value of about $2,000. The same rectors have 
usually served this church and the Fairfield society, the present rector 
being Rev. Clarence M. Conant. The wardens are John Molineux, 
treasurer, C. W. Hamlin, M. D., secretary, and Geo. W. Griswold. 

The Methodist church of Middleville was organized January 16, 
1836, and incorporated February i, i88i. In 1880 the society pur- 
chased the old Union church building, which they removed, remodeled 
and thoroughly repaired. Services are now conducted in it. 

The trustees are James F. Whiting, I S. Edsall and V. S. Farrington. Stewards, 

1. S. Edsall, "V. S. Farrington, Lansing Chase, D. R. Martin, W. W. Dickens, Edward 
Reese, Herman Stroble. The present pastor is Rev. H. M Church. 

The substantial iron bridge across West Canada Creek was built in 
1888; there had been three preceding wooden ones. 

The grist-mill is owned by Dr. D. M. Devendorf, who leases it to 
Wolcott G. Farmer. The population of the village is about 800 and is 
steadily increasing. 

Following is a list of the supervisors of Fairfield from its organization 
to the present time : 

^^Vr*^ ^ (^^ 


1790-97, John Comins, jr.; 1798, Nathan Smith; 1799,1801-4, David Biown; 
ISOO, William Lapham ; 1805-10, An o.s Haile ; 1811-12, Willianj f miih ; 181c-14, 
James Haile ; 1815, John Eaton ; 1816-25, 1830-32, William Giiswold ; 1826-29, Nor- 
man Butler; 1833-34, Hiram Noiton ; 1835-37, Abram H. Seeley ; 1838-41, A. C. H. 
Smith; 1842-43, Thomas A. Rice; 1844, Ale.xander H. Buell ; 1845, 1846, 1849, 
Hiram Ayre.';; 1847-48, Parley Arnold; 1850-51, 1856, Lauren B.Arnold; 1852-53, 
David W.Cole; 1854, Samuel Green ; 1855, Samuel C. Franklin ; 1857, Griffin Sweet ; 
1858-59, Morgan L.Churchill; 1860-Gl, Sideneus Teall ; 1862-63, Alfred E. Varney ; 
1864-65, John Green ; 1866, Albert G. Ford ; 1867, Morgan C. Crist; 1868-70, Eleazer 
C. Rice; 1871-72, Albigenoe W. Ford: 1873-74, Daniel B. Arnold; 1875-78, WiUiam 
W. Mosher: 1879, 1880, Hiram S. Barnes; 1881, 1882, George H.Thomas; 1883, 
1884, Milton Ford; 1885, Thomas R. Petrie ; 1886-88, Seymour C. Bishop ; 1889-91, 
George H. Thomas; 1892, John Fields. 



THIS is one of the largest towns in Herkimer county, having an 
area of more than 68,00O acres. It embraces a part of the Jersey- 
field patent, and portions of the first, second and fourth allotments 
of the Royal Grant. The surface of the northern part of the town 
is rough and mountainous and not thickly settled, while the southern 
part is hilly and well adapted to grazing. The principal streams 
are the East Canada Creek, which forms a part of the east boundary, 
and Spruce Creek, which flows through the southwest and southern 
parts. The soil is generally a sandy and clayey loam. Beds of iron 
ore exist in some parts and have been worked to some extent. The 
formation of the town occurred on March 3, 1797, when it was taken 
from Palatine, and on the 17th of April, 1817, it was annexed to 
Herkimer county from Montgomery county; it lies on the eastern bor- 
der of the county and extends into the great northern wilderness. 

Salisbury received its name from Salisbury, Conn., whence came 
many of the early settlers. Of the early settlement of the town Mr. 
Benton thus wrote : 

This town was peopled before the Revolution, with several families of tories or per- 
sons friendly to the crown, although they may not have committed any overt act of 


treason against the colonies. Living on the Royal Grant, they were, no doubt, the 
tenants of, or went there under the protection of the Johnson family. They were 
allowed to rtmain unmolested by the Indians and tories during the whole war ; but 
when the couiniissionersof forfeitures, in 1784, claimed the grant as tlie property of 
the State, they may not have esteemed the protection of their royalist landlords as of 
much value, or their titles, if they held any, as securing to them " an indefeasible 
estate of inheritance." One of these people, named Johnson, lived on lot iiumber 154, 
in the first allotment, Royal Grant, on the road between the old Salisbury meeting- 
house and the Four Corners. Daniel Lobdell, another of them, lived in the westerly 
part of the town, about one mile southerly of the old Salisbury meeting-house. 

These parties were conveniently located, to suit the purposes and accompli.^h the 
objects, of those who planted them on the direct route from the Mohawk valley to 
the head waters of the Black River. Here the disaffected could congregate in safety, 
and mature their plans of mischief; and from these points, runners could be dispatched 
to hover round the out-settlements, collect information, watch the movement of troops 
in the valley, and even spy out what was going on at the block-houses and stockades, 
and outside of the principal forts; and here, too, straggling parties of the enemy re- 
ceived aid and comfort and were seasonably notified of whatever was important for 
them to know, and within the power of these people to give. 

Old Mr. Lobdell had four or five sons wlio, at an early period of the war, went to 
Canada with a party of Indians and remained there until after peace was declared. 

A controversy as to some of these lands gave rise to a litigation in 
i860, as appears by the case of McKinnon vs. Bliss, 21 New York 
Reports, 206. 

A few New England families probably located in this town before 
1788, and between that date and 1794 the immigration was quite rapid. 
The Salisbury meeting-house, a historic structure, was erected during 
the last named year. Jabez Ayers built the first frame dwelling in 
the town. The following families were among the early settlers: 
Avery, Cook, Hackley, Hallett, Todd, Hopson, Burrell and Water- 
man. In 1801, according to Rev. Caleb Alexander, who then visited 
the town, the population was 1,694. 

The first town meeting was held April 4, 1797, and the following is 
a record of the proceedings : 

Agreeable to statute, the freeholders and inhabitants of the town of Salisbury con- 
vened at the house of Aaron Hackley, esq., on Tuesday, the 4th day of April, 1797. 
Cornelius Humphrey and Aaron Hackley, esqs., superintended the meeting. Polls 
opened and proceeded to put in the town ofiicers, and the following were cho.sen, that 
is to say ; Cornelius Humphrey, esq., supervisor ; Eliphalet Taylor, town clerk ; Abijah 
Ford, Samuel Bennet, Jonathan Cole, assessors; Jonathan Hallett, William Lee, jr., 


and Joseph Munson, commissioners of highways; Nathaniel Curtip, constahlc nnd cd- 
lector; Stephen Todd, jr., constable; Reynolds Cahoon and Jabez Ayers, overseers of 
the poor ; Augustus Thorp, Stutley Can and Caleb Bates, commissioners of schools ; 
Eleazer Can, Jabez Tuttle and Joseph Tuttle, fence viewers and appraisers of dam- 
ages ; Joseph Cahoon and Alexander Ayers, poundmasters. The entire town at that 
time contained only thirteen road districts, and one overseer was elected for each dis- 

Other proceedings of this and succeeding early meetings consisted of 
the customary regulations for restriction of roving animals, selhng 
liquors, etc. In this connection the following entry is of interest as in- 
dicating who were early merchants and what they had to contend with 
for violating the law : 

Be it remembered that on the 15th day of January, 1798, Jo.seph Cahoon and Isaiah 
Kenyon, merchants of the town of Salisbury, county of Montgomery and Stale of New 
York, were this day convicted before me, Cornelius Humphrey, one of the justices of the 
peace of said county, for retailing, on the 9lh day of this instant — January — and at 
several other times, at their store in the town aforesaid, gin and other spirituous liquors 
by small measure to be drank in their house, without having a license or such permit in 
their house, out-house, yard or garden, or without having entered into such recogni- 
zance as is mentioned in the act entitled "an act to lay a duty of excise on strong 
liquors and for the better regulating of inns and taverns," passed March 1st, 1788. 

Given under my hand and seal the loth day of January, 1708. 

Cornelius Humphrey, J. P. 

Following is a list of the supervisors of Salisbury from its organiza- 
tion to the present time : 

Cornelius Humphrey, 1797-99; Samuel Bennett, 1800; Jonathan Hallett, 1801-02; 
Cornelius Drake, 1803-05; Alvah Southworth, 1806-13; Stephen Todd, 1814, 1820-22. 
'1824; Elijah Ford, 1815; Isaac Sears, 1816; John D. Waterman, 1817-19; Jeremiah 
Drake, 1823, 1825, 1829 ; Abraham Marsh, 1826-27 ; Abial Pratt, 1828 ; Henry Water- 
man, 1830-31; George W. Alton, 1832-30, 1839; Eliakim Sherrill, 1837-38; At water 
Cook, 1840-41; Hiram Hadley, 1842-44; George Avery, 1845; Ira Comstock, 1846; 
Truman Bliss, 1847-48; Harry Burrell, 1849 ; Lorenzo Carryl, 1850; B. Avery, 1851- 
52; Daniel A. Northrup, 1853 55, 1859, 1860; James J. Cook, 1856-58, 1877-78; 
James H. Ives, 1861-64; Milton B. Avery, 1865-66; George L. Byington, 1867-69; 
John Ives, 1870-71; W. P. Burrell, 1872-73; Volney Hopson, 1874; Ormel Leavitt, 
1875-77; J. J. Cook, 1878-79; Frank H. Loucks, 1880-82; Charles L. Ives, 1883-84; 
William H. Cramer, 1885-80; Warren H. Eaton, 1887-92. 

Among the few families who settled in this town during the Revolu- 
tion were John Faville and Cornelius Lamberson, both natives of New 
Jersey. Faville was born in 1749, and in eaily life was engaged in 


boating on the Mohawk River. He settled in the southwestern part of 
the town on a farm owned in recent years by Harry Burrell. His son, 
William Faville, was born in the town December 19, 1785. In 1795 he 
removed to the northwestern part of Manheim, where he erected a 
grist mill previous to 1800. He was the father of eight sons and four 
daughters, most of wi)om located in Salisbury and Manheim. The 
family has always been a prominent one in the eastern part of the 
county. Cornelius Lamberson settled on the farm owned recently by 
his grandson, Joshua W. Lamberson, in the southern part of the town. 
He reared a family of seven sons and one daughter. He was father of 
Addison Lamberson, now of Dolgeville. 

Major Jonathan Hallett was a revolutionary officer and settled early 
in the town — about 1787, in the western part. His son, Stephen, was 
born in the town in 1787, and remained a resident until 1 820, when he 
engaged in mercantile business in Fairfield. He was sheriff of the 
county from 1821 to 1826. 

Jabez Ayers came to the town from Massachusetts in the spring of 
1792, settling on wild land near the site of Burrell's Corners. His son, 
Stephen, born in Braintree. Mass., February 10, 1770, came here with 
his father, and later settled a mile or more west of him in what is 
now Fairfield. He was a practical surveyor and located many of the 
early roads in this section. He represented the county in the Assembl)' 
in 1836, and died in 1850. 

Stephen Todd came from Wallingford, Conn., in 1792, and settled 
at what is known as Diamond Hill, on the State road. His son, , 
Stephen, jr., came with the family and subsequently studied medicine 
and was for many years one of the leading physicians of the county. 
He also engaged quite extensively in agriculture ; was elected to the 
Assembly in 1821, and died at his home in 1827. 

Nathan Metcalf came from Berkshire county, Mass., and settled in the 
extreme southern part of the town in 1794. Abial Pratt came here in 
the same year and purchased a farm of Alvarius Hopson. A year later 
he returned to Massachusetts, but in 1799 came back to his farm which 
he cleared and improved, and lived upon it until his death at the age of 
ninety-two years. The homestead was about half way between Salis- 
bury and Salisbury Center. He was member of Assembly in 1828. 


Jonathan Cole came with Mr. Pratt in 1794, and settled on the adjoin- 
ing farm, where he resided until his death. He was one of the first 
assessors of the town. Abijah Ford settled early in 1794 near Diamond 
Hill, opened a tavern before 1800, and kept it until his death. The 
early town meetings were held at his house. In the same year Asa 
Sheldon settled about two miles west of the site of Devereaux. 

Atwater Cook, a native of Connecticut, settled in Salisbury early in 
1795, locating first at what is known as Ives Hollow, and subsequently 
on a farm just west of Salisbury Corners. His son, of the same name, 
was born in Salisbury, December 17, 1795, and became one of the early 
successful farmers and dairymen and one of the prominent and influ- 
ential citizens of the town. He was for many years a justice of the 
peace; was supervisor, and in 1831 and 1839, was chosen to the As- 
sembly. He died at his home February 14, 1853. His son, James J. 
Cook, was born July 13, 1822, and also became one of the prominent 
citizens of the town. He was sheriff of the county from 1859 to 1861, 
and for many years a member of the board of supervisors. During the 
War of the Rebellion he held the office of United States provost mar- 
shal for this Congressional district, and at the time of his death was a 
member of the committee for the construction of the new county build- 
ings. He died at Salisbury, September 4, 1880. 

Aaron Hackley came from Wallingford, Conn., in 1795 and settled 
at what is now known as Burrell's Corners, where he carried on a store 
and a tavern. He was one of the first justices of the town. 

Silas Thompson was a native of Chesterfield, N H., and for a time 
drove the six yoke teams of oxen in hauling boats on the river around 
the rapids at Little Falls. In the fall of 1795 he came to Salisbury and 
soon afterward purchased the farm now owned by the estate of William 
J.Thompson. He died in 1858. 

Joseph Munson and Moses De Witt came from Connecticut in 1795 
and settled on farms near Salisbury Corners. Other early settlers were 
Cornelius Humphrey, Eliphalet Taylor, Samuel Bennett, and William 
Lee, who became permanent and useful citizens and left descendants. 

Amos Ives was a native of Wallingford, Conn., and came to Salis- 
bury in the spring of 1795, settling about two miles north of Salisbury 
Corners, where he was a successful farmer. He died at the residence of 


his son at Salisbury Corners in March, 184 1. He was father of seven 
sons and one daughter. Truman Ives was his youngest son and was 
three years old when iiis father settled in Salisbury. He learned the 
trade of wool- carding and cloth-dressing and in 1818 established that 
business about half a mile north of Salisbury Corners, which he success 
fully carried on until i860. He was also an extensive farmer and 
owned a large estate, which he transferred to his sons, John and James 
H., in i860. Anson Ives was an elder brother of Truman, and the fol- 
lowing interesting reminiscences were published by the Little Falls 
Journal and Courier in 1876, in a reference to him : 

He was a son of Amos and Lucy Ives, and was born in Wallingford, Conn., March 
19, 1785. He was the fifth of a family of eight children. Amos, Ambrose, Simeon, 
Lucy. Anson, Orren, Samuel and Truman, all of whom are now deceased except Tru- 
man, tlie youngest, who is in vigorous health at eighty-six. AH lived to a ripe old 
age. This familj- of ten persons removed from their home in Connecticut to this 
county in May, 1795, coming the whole distance in a cart drawn by two oxen and one 
horse. The journey to Little Falls required fourteen days. From this place to Salis- 
bury was almost an unbroken wilderness, the route having to be followed by marked 
trees. They were one day in going two miles, and put up for the night at a tavern 
kepi by a maa by the name of Doxtater, a short distance north of the present resi- 
dence of Chaunoey Cook. On the next day they reached Burrell's Corners and tarried 
over night in the small red house (still standing) just east of the old church which was 
burned fifteen or eighteen years ago. The day following they arrived at the happy 
home of Atwater Cook, the elder, grandfather of James J. Cook, esq., who admitted 
them to a share in his log cabin. Here they resided several months, until they could 
erect a log house of their own on a lot adjoining, purchased of Mr. Cook. They had 
all been neighbors and intimate friends in Connecticut. Anson while yet a boy left 
his father's house and went to Greene county, where he :esided five years. From 
there he went to Onondaga county, N. Y., where he and two other brothers contracted 
to chop eight hundred cords of wood. Here he was drafted into the United States 
service and stationed at 0.swego, remaining there till peace was declared. For this 
service he received a land warrant for one hundred and sixty acres of land and a pen- 
sion of $12 per month to the time of his decease. 

It is from the Ives family that Ives Hollow takes its name, and 
there John and James H. Ives established several industries. They 
became very large land owners, engaged e-xtensively in dairying, owned 
large interests in several cheese factories, carried on mills and also ex- 
tended their business operations into other parts of the country. John 
Ives was twice supervisor of the town and James H. held the same 
office four terms and was sheriff of the county. 


Alvarius Hopson came from Wallingford, Conn., to Salisbury in 1793, 
bringing a large family with him. He first settled about a mile west of 
Salisbury Center, but in the following year sold his land to Jonathan 
Cole and Abial Pratt and purchased other property a mile southeast of 
Salisbury Center. There a few years later he joined with Samuel Bish- 
op and built a saw- mill on Spruce Creek. About 1799 he sold his 
farm to John Marsh, and in recent years the place was occupied by the 
grandson of the latter, Abram M. Marsh; it is now occupied by G. A. 
Marsh. Mr. Hopson soon afterward settled permanently a little south 
of Salisbury Center, where he died about 1825. He was the father of 
six sons and five daughters, and his descendants became prominent cit- 
izens of this county. E. R. Hopson, now of Dolgeville, is a great-grand- 
son of Alvarius Hopson. His grandfather's name was David, one of the 
six sons of Alvarius, and his father was James (2d) who was born in 1 800 
and died in i860. The family of E. R. Hopson consists of Elton J., 
born June 30, 185 i ; George D., born December 30, 1855; Mary E., 
born December 13, 1858, now wife of James F. Weatherwax. Mr. Hop- 
son has taken the lead in this vicinity in dairying operations, and when 
the Cold Brook cheese factory was established in 1863, he became part 
owner and sole manager of it. The product of the factory ranked as 
first class. Mr. Hopson enjoys the confidence and respect of the entire 
community. James Hopson was also a son of Alvarius, and came with 
his father to Salisburj'. He was an early merchant and farmer and an 
influential citizen of the town. His son, Cornelius D. Hopson, was a 
farmer and died in 1864. He left four children, all of whom now reside 
in Kansas, except Martha C, who married P. W. Casler, living at Lit- 
tle Falls. Other later members of several of these families have re- 
moved from the town. 

Among others of this town who are worthy of mention in connection 
with its growth and development are Jonathan Burrell, an early settler 
at Burrell's Corners. His son, W. F. Burrell, who was born there in 
1S18, became the proprietor of Burrell's mills at that place and was ex- 
tensively engaged in the manufacture of cheese-boxes, broom handles, 
lumber, etc. He was for years a member of the firm of Burrell, Ives & 
Co., extensive makers of cheese-box material in this State and Michi- 
gan. He was supervisor of the town in 1872 and 1873. 


Orren Tanner was born in Salisbury in 1806, and spent most of his 
life as a successful farmer. He had seven children. His wife was a 
daughter of Alvarius Hopson. 

William J. Thompson was born in Salisbury in 18 19 and was reared 
on the farm on which he passed his life. His father was Silas Thomp- 
son, before mentioned, one of the pioneers of the town. 

Among the pioneers from Connecticut who settled in Herkimer coun- 
ty was Noah Smith. He located in the town of Norway and had a son 
Samuel, who settled in the town of Salisbury in 1822, where he is still 
living at the great age of ninety-three years, in the enjoyment of the 
respect of the community. George W. Smith, the well-known attorney 
of Herkimer, is a son of Samuel, and was born in Salisbury in 1823. 
He left that town in 1844, studied law with Capron & Lake in Little 
Falls and with Judge Graves of Herkimer and was admitted in 1848. 
During the following three years he was editor of the Northern State 
Journal at Watertown, and then settled in Roonville and began practice. 
He was elected county judge of Oneida county in 1859 and in i860 
removed to Utica, but returned to Boonville two years later. He re- 
mained there until 1870, when he settled permanently in Herkimer and 
has been in practice there since. In 1876 he was nominated by the 
Democrats for Congress but was defeated, although he ran ahead of his 
ticket in Herkimer county, and was again defeated for the same office 
in 1886. In 1880 he was a delegate to the Cincinnati convention, and 
in 1882 was elected to the Assembly, where he was distinguished for 
his clear style and eloquent speeches. 

Sketches of many other residents of the town will be found in a later 
department of this work. 

The first mill of any kind in operation in this town was a saw-mill 
built about 1795 by John Garner on Spruce Creek about half a mile 
north of Salisbury Corners, which locality bears the name of Ives Hol- 
low. The site has had a mill ever since, which was in possession of J. 
& J. H. Ives and is now carried on by the latter. The first grist-mill in 
the town was erected about 1800 by George Spencer, near Diamond 
Hill, on a small tributary of Spruce Creek. This mill, although it was 
of great convenience for a time, was not long-lived on account of the 
failure of the stream. A second mill was built not long after the first. 


by Cornelius Humphrey, on Spruce Creek about one and a half miles 
north of Salisbury Corners. Zophar Tuttle, from Wolcott, Mass., who 
came herein 1798, was the first miller here and he and Friend Cook 
subsequently purchased it. The mill was operated nearly fifty years. 

About the year 1805 Dr. Stephen Todd started a distillery at Dia- 
mond Hill, taking this means of using the grain that he was forced to 
accept in payment for his services. The business was profitable and, 
as usual in such circumstances, others embarked in it, so that by about 
181 5 there were five distilleries in the town, and all doing a lucrative 
business. As grain raising declined, these industries were abandoned 
and the last one has disappeared. 

The first tavern, kept by Aaron Hackley in 1795 at what is Burrell's 
Corners, has been mentioned ; he also kept the first store there. Abijah 
Ford opened the second tavern at Diamond Hill, and about 1800 
Nathaniel Dibble opened the third about a mile east of Salisbury Cen- 
ter. Joseph Cahoon and Isaiah Kenyon were merchants in the town as 
early as 1797. 

The first road laid out in this town, as shown by the records, was 
under date of May 15, 1797, by Jonathan Hallett, Joseph Munson, 
and William, jr., commissioners. It is the road now running 
from the west line of the town to Burrell's Corners, Salisbury Cor- 
ners, Salisbury Center, and thence to Devereaux. The State road, 
so called, running from Johnstown to the Black River country, 
crosses the southwest part of Salisbury. The road from Salisbury 
Center north to Jerseyfield Lake and thence to Morehouse, in Hamilton 
county, was laid out in 1845. The Manheim and Salisbury Flank Road 
Company was chartered December 23, 1848, and the charter was 
renewed in 1878 for thirty years more. The road ran from Little Falls 
through the northwesterly part of Salisbury to Gray, in the town of 
Norway. The Little Falls and Salisbury plank road, running from the 
former place through Salisbury Center to Devereaux was built in 1848. 
These roads are substantially abandoned as far as plank toll roads are 

The dairy interest in this town has been and is important, although 
not so much so as formerly. Salisbury is one of the towns claiming the 
introduction of this industry, Atwater Cook and Dr. Todd being the first 


to practically abandon grain growing and turn their attention to grazing. 
For many years each farmer made his own cheese, but the era of cheese 
factories came, and in this town they were especially prosperous. The 
Avery & Ives cheese factory, two miles east of Salisbury, was built in 
1862, and for several years its product reached 200,000 pounds. The 
Cold Brook factory was established in the spring of 1863 by E. R. 
Hobson, J. D. Lamberson and the Ives brothers. Cook, Ives & Co.'s fac- 
tory at Salisbury Corners was built in 1865 ; the factory at Burrell's 
Corners in 1869, and the Beaver Creek factory, near Diamond Hill, in 
1873. There are now three factories in operation in the town. 

BiirrelCs Corners. — This locality, once known as " Yankee Corners," 
was in early days the center of business in the town. It received its name 
from Jonathan Burrell, who came from Berkshire county, Mass., and 
permanently located here in 1803, and has already been mentioned. 
Here were situated the earliest business establishments in the town — 
Aaron Hackley's store and tavern, an early grist-mill, and the vicinity 
was more thickly settled than other parts of the town at an early day. 
Jonathan Burrell, and later his sons, carried on various branches of busi- 
ness at the Corners. There is very little here now to distinguish the 
neighborhood from the surrounding country, except a blacksmith shop 
and a cheese factory. 

Salisbury Center. — This little village, as indicated by its name, is 
situated near the center of the town. Business was first attracted to 
the locality by the building of a grist-mill in 1802 by a man named 
Plum (or Plumb), which was followed by another in 18 ID, which was 
built by Cornelius Drake; the second one stood a little below the first, 
and about on the site of the present mill, now operated by William H. 
Elwell. This mill was erected by Edgar Darling in 1846-47. Au- 
gustus Frisbie was one of the early settlers at the Corners, and built 
the first frame house, which he converted a few years later into a hotel, 
the first in the place. Mr. Frisbie also erected and operated the first 
wool-carding and cloth-dressing works in 18 10, and a few years later 
Stephen Avery established similar works. William Peak was an early 
merchant and perhaps the first. The mercantile business of the place 
previous to 1820 was of little importance, but in that year Henry 
Marshall opened a general store and carried on quite an extensive busi- 


ness. Stores are kept at the present time by Frank Loucks and Robert 
Hicks. A small tannery was built here in 1 8o6 by Nathaniel Peck; he 
was a shoemaker and tanned his own leather. A larger tannery was 
erected by Sherrill & Reed about 1825 ; these have disappeared with 
the failure of the bark supply, with the exception of the small estab- 
ment now operated by John Deitz. The cloth-dressing works long ago 
disappeared and there is no establishment of the kind in the town. 
J. F. McDougall carries on the saw mill at the Center, with planing- 
niill, shingle-machines, etc., and a shoe-peg factory has been operated a 
number of years by Kingsley Bros, on the site of the tannery formerly 
operated by John C. Pitt. The post-office was established here about 
the year 1825, with Dr. Hiram Hadley as postmaster. R. H. Hicks 
is the present incumbent of the office. Small harness and blacksmith 
shops complete the list of business concerns in the village. 

Devereaux. — This busy little village is situated on the East Canada 
Creek on the eastern line of the town, a part of its buildings being in 
Fulton county. The place was formerly known as " Nicholsville, " from 
Elder Martin Nichols, who was one of the early settlers and came 
before 1800. He erected a frame building for his dwelling, which was 
afterwards enlarged and kept by others as a hotel. He also built the 
first grist-mill here about the year 1800, and a saw- mill was built about 
that time by either Mr. Nichols or Alexander Boyd. Elder Nichols 
also built a church in which he preached for a number of years. It 
was eventually burned and the Baptist chuich built upon the site. 
Jesse Potter was an early settler and built for himself the first house in 
the place. Aaron Bartlett erected the first tannery on the east side of 
the creek about the year 1826. It fell into disuse with the failure of 
the bark supply. One of the earliest merchants here was Asa Wilcox, 
and Dr. Elliot Jacobs was the first physician. The post-office was 
established about 1 820 under the name of "Nicholsville," and about 
1832 the name was changed to " East Creek," and a few years later to 
its present title, after Henry Devereaux, who settled here about 1834 
and became a prominent merchant. There are now two churches here, 
noticed further on, four stores, kept by S. McLean, N. Perkins, Bliss 
Kibbe (who is also postmaster), and D. Heiterline. J. C. Livingston 
carries on the grist-mill and D. Heiterline has a butter- tub factory and 


the saw-mill. There are three hotels which are kept by Peter Ward, 
John Moon, jr., and J. Rowley. 

Salisbury Corners is a hamlet on the State road in the southwestern 
part of the town. The immediate locality was first settled by Hiram 
Wooster, a Connecticut farmer, who came about 1800. In 181 1 the 
first tavern was built by Amos Griswold, who also came from Connect- 
icut. William Brooks was the first merchant and erected his own 
store. There is very little business done here at the present time, 
a small store and a tannery only being kept. 

What has been known as " Diamond Hill, " from the finding of 
quartz crystals in the rocks, is a settlement on the State road about one 
and a half miles north of Burrell's Corners. A paper- mill was at one 
time in operation here, and W. F. Burrell carried on a saw-mill, cheese- 
box factory and turning works. 

The first carding machine was established by John Standring about 
1800, and was located at Diamond Hill, being operated by water from 
Spruce Creek. The mill was burned a few years after its erection and 
a larger one with machinery for cloth- dressing built in its stead. Au- 
gustus Frisbie built a similar factory at Salisbury Center in 1810 and in 
i8i4another one was established by a stock company, on Spruce Creek, 
north of Salisbury Center, owned in subsequent years by Truman 

Tanning has been very largely carried on in this town, the first tan- 
nery having been built by Col. Amos Griswold about 1 802, a mile north 
of the site of Burrell's Corners. To this one were added from time to 
time others, and down to about the beginning of the war period, this 
was one of the chief industries of the town. There is now only one 
tannery in the town, carried on by John Dietz. 

Churches. — The first meeting-house in this town was erected about 
1795, at what is now Burrell's Corners, under the auspices of the Pres- 
byterian denomination. It was occupied as a church until 183 i, when 
that denomination built a new church at Salisbury Corners, and the old 
church was converted into a wagon shop. It subsequently burned. 
The church at the Corners is still standing, but is unoccupied as such. 
Rev. Caleb Alexander, the touring missionary of early times, wrote as 
follows of the Presbyterians at Salisbury at the beginning of the 
century : 


Tuesday, November 19, 1801. — Rode four miles to Salisbury. Called upon 
Aaron Haokley, esq., and preached a lecture on Titus iii., 5, G. A decent congregation 
in the school-house. There is a Presbyterian church of thirty-six members, belonging 
to the Northern Associate Presbytery of Morris County Presbytery. A Baptist church 
has lately been established here. There has been in this place, last summer, much at- 
tention to religion, and almost every convert has joined the Baptist communion 
through the vigorous exertions of the Baptist teachers itinerating. Salisbury contains 
1,694 souls, and a Presbyterian meeting-house. 

A Baptist church was organized at Burrell's Corners in i8oo, where 
meetings were held for a time, and afterward at Sahsbury Corners, until 
about I S3 1, when the society united with the Universalists and erected 
a union church. This building was subsequently, and now is, occupied 
by the Baptists alone, the other societ}'^ becoming extinct. There is 
a Baptist church at Devereaux, in which George Fisher is the present 

The First Universalist Society of Salisbury was organized at the 
house of Stephen Pratt, in December, 1822. On February 28, 1830, a 
new organization was effected at the house of Abial Pratt and the so- 
ciety was incorporated. 

The union church of Salisbury Center was erected in 1 830, princi- 
pally by the Universalists, and by the Presbyterians and Baptists. Its 
cost was about $2,600, and it was dedicated in October, 1830. It is 
only used occasionally at the present time. 

The Methodist Episcopal church at Salisbury Center was organized 
in 1826, by Rev. John W. Wallace with about twenty members. In 
1828 the society began the erection of a frame church. It was used 
while still unfinished for about two years, and was finished in 1830. 
In 1870, during the pastorate of Rev. G. W. Howland, it was remod- 
eled and repaired, and rededicated by Bishop Peck. Rev. Amos Rich 
is the present pastor in this church, and the one at Devereaux. 




\A ANHEIM lies on the eastern border of the county and on the 
/ \ north bank of the Mohawk River. It is bounded on the north 
by Salisbury; on the east by Oppenheim in Fulton county; on the 
south by Danube, and on the west by Little Falls and Fairfield. Six 
of the large lots in Glen's purchase, a part of the fourth allotment of 
the Royal Grant ; the whole of John Van Driesen's, Snell and Tim- 
merman's, and part of Rev. Peter Van Driesen's patents; a part of 
Vrooman's patent, and some small grants made by the State are in this 
town. The town was formed from Palatine, Ilontgomery county, on 
the 3d of March, 1797, and it remained a part of that county until 
April 7, 18 17, when it was annexed to Herkimer county. It received 
its name from Manheim in Germany. The surface of the town rises 
from the intervales of the Mohawk to the northern border where 
it reaches a height of 500 feet above the river. The soil is a gravelly 
loam on the uplands and a fertile alluvium on the flats. Cathatachua 
Creek flows through the town near the center, and Gillett Creek south- 
east across the northeast corner ; both are small streams. East Can- 
ada Creek flows along the eastern boundary of the town, furnishes 
excellent water power and is beautified by several picturesque cascades 
within the limits of the town. 

Manheim was settled by German emigrants before the Revolution. 
The grant of 3,600 acres made in 1755 to Jacob Timmerman and Johan 
Jost Snell (or Schnell), commonly called Snell and Timmerman's patent, 
is near the central part of the town on an east and west line, and south 
of the Royal Grant. The date of this grant is probably not far from 
the time of the first settlement ; and descendants of the Snells and Tim- 
mermans are still residents of the county. A part of this original 
grant still bears the common name of " Sncll's Bush." Jacob Timmer- 
man had at least five sons, four of whom, Henry, Adam, Frederick and 
Jacob, settled on portions of this patent. Four of the sons of Johan 


Jost Snell, Suffrenus, Peter, Joseph and Jacob, also located here in the 
vicinity of the old Dutch Reformed church. Nine of the Snell family 
went into the battle of Oriskany and only two returned, Peter being 
one ; the other seven were killed. 

Henry Remensneider, or (Rhemensnyder) and Johannes Boyer were 
the first settlers on Glen's purchase, a few miles north of the Little 
Falls, where they seated themselves a few years prior to the Revo- 
lution. John Boyer took part in the battle of Oriskany ; he was the 
immediate ancestor of the Boyer families, who were once numerous 
in the county. Among other German families who settled in the town 
before the Revolution were the Keysers, Van Slykes Newmans, Pick- 
erts, Klocks and Garters. The Newmans, Klocks and a family named 
Davis settled near the center of the town, south of Remensneider's Bush.i 
James Van Slyke and John Windecker, aged respectively seventeen and 
nine years, were taken prisoners during the Revolution. They were at 
the time in the log house of Frederick Windecker, who lived on the 
farm occupied in recent years by John F. Windecker. They were car- 
ried to Canada, whence Van Slyke escaped, but the younger lad was 
kept five years. It will be remembered by the reader that we have al- 
ready given an account of the attack on the settlements at Remensnei- 
der's Bush, April 30, 1780, by a large band of Indians and tories, who 
burned the early grist-mill of that place and carried away nineteen per- 
sons. The settlers in the town suffered severely from the depredations 
of the enemy during the Revolution. 

The block- house mentioned in the foot note on this page was sit- 
uated just over the west line of Manheim in the edge of Little Falls ; 
it was known as Remensneider's fort. The grist-mill stood on lands 
owned by Lorenzo Carryl, now of Little Falls. Of the prisoners car- 
ried to Canada in 1780, John Garter died there. After that attack the 
inhabitants of the town retired to the lower valley, abandoning their 
farms until after the war. 

1 A blockhouse stood at this place (Remensneider's Bush), and many o£ the inhabitants toolc re£- 
xige in it. Twelve of the prisoners were taken at one house by half that number of Indians with- 
out resistance. The captives all returned after the war. except one who died in Canada, and one 
who escaped. John G. Snell, while searching for cattle in the woods, was surprised by the Indians 
and shot through the body. He recovered and lived to an advanced age. The town was deserted 
after this by all but the tories.— French's State Gazetteer, p. 346. 


Adam Garlock settled in the town previous to the Revolution, and 
the farm has always remained in possession of his descendants. With 
the cessation of hostilities the town was rapidl i filled up by the ref- 
ugees and new-comers from the East. Judge Jacob Markell, born in 
Schenectady in 1770, came to Manheim when he was twenty years old ; 
was long a justice of the peace, supervisor of the town twenty six 
years, judge of the Court of Comman Pleas while the town was a part 
of Montgomery county; elected to Congress for one term, and mem- 
ber of Assembly from Manheim in 1819. (See chapter on the Bench 
and Bar.) 

Jacob P. Loucks was born in Manheim in 1783 ; was a soldier in the 
War of 18 12 and lived to a very old age. Major Andrew Fink settled 
here soon after the close of the Revolution ; was of German descent 
and born in the present town of Palatine ; was first lieutenant in Cap- 
tain Christopher P. Yates's company in July, 1775, and rose to the rank 
of major during the war. He lived to an advanced age and is buried 
in this town. John A. Dockey, a British soldier under Burgoyne, was 
taken prisoner at Bennington, escaped at Albany and canie to Fall Hill, 
where he hired out to Peter Dygert; soon afterward he married the wid- 
ow of Jacob Snell, who was killed at Oriskany. His son, Henry Dockey, 
was born in Manheim in March, 1784. Nathaniel and Elijah Spencer 
came from Vermont and settled on the farm now owned by Howard 
Spencer, their descendant, in 1797. Others who settled in this town 
in the latter part of the last century were Samuel Peck and his son, 
Isaac, who came in 1796; Jacob Youran, in 1797; John Faville, Simeon 
P. Bidleman, James and John Van Valkenburg, Henry Broat and Peter 

John Beardslee, born in Sharon, Conn., in November, 1759, became 
a practical mechanic, architect and civil engineer. He came to the Mo- 
hawk valley in 1787, visited Whitestown and engaged with White & 
Whitmore to build mills for them on shares. In 1792 he built for the 
State a mill for the use of the Oneida Indians. Between 1790 and 
1796 he built the first bridge across the Mohawk at Little Falls and the 
old red grist-mill there ; also built mills for Richard Van Home at Van 
Hornesville and for Colonel Frey at Canajoharie ; the court-house with 
jail at Herkimer, which was burned in January, 1834; a bridge over 



East Canada Creek and a grist-mill, saw- mill and carding works about 
half a mile north of the present Mohawk turnpike. The building of 
the last-named bridge led to his settling in Manheim. The bridge was 
paid for by Montgomery county, and in order to get the necessary tim- 
ber he purchased a one-hundred- acre lot west of the creek and near the 
bridge in March, 1794. Finishing the bridge, he erected the mills 
which were in operation in 1795. These improvements attracted emi- 
grants, and by 1800 there was a lively settlement here; it became 
known as " the city." Besides the mills there were two stores, two 
taverns, a blacksmith shop, a nail factory, brewery, distillery, etc. 
There was more business done at Beardslee's Mills, as it vi'as often 
called; than at Little Falls at the time in question. The location of the 
Mohawk turnpike half a mile south, and the subsequent building of the 
canal south of the river, turned the tide from this little village, as it did 
from many others in the valley, and almost every trace of the existence 
of "the city " has disappeared. In 1810 Mr. Beardslee purchased 350 
acres lying on both sides of the creek and between his first purchase 
and the Mohawk, where sprang up the settlement of East Creek; and 
this, too, has now almost disappeared, as far as business is concerned. 
Mr. Beardslee died at his home October 3, 1825, leaving a permanent 
impress upon the town and its vicinity. 

Augustus Beardslee was born in the town of Manheim August 13, 
1 80 1. After finishing his education at Fairfield Seminary and Union 
College he read law with Abram Van Vechten in Albany and with 
George H. Feeter in Little Falls, and was admitted to the bar Decem- 
ber 27, 1824. In 1828 he was appointed by the governor one of the 
judges of the Common Pleas of Herkimer county. In 1834 he was 
elected to the Assembly, and in 1843 he was again appointed a judge 
of the Common Pleas. After his term of judgeship expired he retired 
to his country home at East Creek, in the town of Manheim, where he 
died on March 15, 1873, having spent the later years of his life with his 
books and in the management of his large landed estate. 

James H. Wetherwax, born in this town November 29, 1829, was a 
prominent and successful farmer. He was elected supervisor in i860, 
and held that office three successive terms. In 1867 he was chosen 
sheriff of the county, and in 1880 Governor Cornell appointed him one 


of the State assessors. He died on his farm in Manheim, now occupied 
by his son, James F. Weatlierwax, January i, 1883. 

Other improvements made in the town at a very early date were a 
sawmill on the East Canada Creek, built in 1798 by Jacob Youran, 
and a grist-mill, erected by him in 18 15, which continued in operation 
some forty years. Thomas Johnson built a saw- mill on Gillett Creek 
on the farm now owned by Charles Ransom about 18 14. Other mills 
were started at different points, not one of which is in operation. 
Jacob Markeli opened a small store near what became known as Man- 
heim Center in 1790 ^the vicinity of the present half- way house). He 
manufactured potash there, and a post-ofifice was at one period estab- 
lished at that point. 

There are no accessible records of the transactions of this town while 
it remained a part of Montgomery county. The first meeting after it 
was annexed to Herkimer county was held on the first Tuesday in 
March, 18 18, when the following officers were elected: 

Jacob Markeli, supervisor; Jacob Wire, town clerk; John Young.';, Hanford Sher- 
wood, Elijah Barnes, highway commissioners; Elijah Barnes, Samuel Gray, jr., Adam 
Feeler, assessors ; Jacob Markeli and Daniel Getman, overseers of poor ; George G. 
Loucks, collector; Luther Pardee, Jacob Bates, Jacob Markeli, school commissioners; 
Bennett Pearce, Charles Freeman, Elijah Ayres, Thomas Ransom, John G. Loucks, 
Elijah Barnes, school inspectors ; William P. Schuyler, Uarmanus Visgar, Joseph 
House, constables, and twenty-four overseers of highways. 

Following is a list of supervisors of the town of Manheim from its 
organization to the present time : 

Jacob Markeli, 1797-1S19, 1824-27; Luther Pardee, 1820-22; Lawrence Timmer- 
man, 1823; Augustus Beardslee, 1828-29; John T. Timmerman, 1830; Daniel Hayes, 
1831; Isaac S. Ford, 1832; Jacob Powell, 1833; John P. Snell, 1834-37, 1839; 
Suffrenus Snell, 1838; John Hoover, jr., 1840-41; John T. Beardslee, 1842; Jacob 
Yoran, 184.3-44, 1850 ; Nathan S. Green, 1845 ; John Markeli, 1846-49; Oliver Ladue, 
1851-52; Jeremiah G. Snell, 18.53; Hiram Broat, 1854-55, 1867-71; Levi Belhnger, 
1856-57; Luke Sngll, 1858-59; James H. Wetherwax, 1860-62; Morgan Bidleman, 
1863-64; S.Stewart Lansing, 1865-66; Michael Levee, 1872 ; Charles E. Bauder, 
1873-75 ; Seymour Keyser, 1876 ; Norman Timmerman, 1877-78 ; John Garlock, 
1879-81; Wm. A. Goodell, 1882-83 ; Hannibal Sneil, 1884-85; Hiram Broat, 1886- 
87 ; Charles Cook, 1888 ; Thomas H. Curry, 1889-92. 

Manheim is one of the best cheese-producing towns in the county, 
and a large share of the labor of farmers is devoted to that industry. 


At the present time there are nine factories in operation, the first of 
which was built in 1864 by P. H. Smith, near Brockett's Bridge (Dolge- 
ville). There are ten scliool districts in the town, two of them (at East 
Creek and Ingham's Mills) being joint districts with Oppenheim and 
St. Johnsville. 

The Village of Dolgeville. — This, one of the most thriving villages 
in the State of New York, has gained a national reputation by the vari- 
ous industrial and other enterprises of Alfred Dolge, a public spirited 
citizen of German birth and parentage, after whom the place was 
named and who settled here in 1876. 

Dolgeville lies in the spurs of the Adirondacks, on both sides of the 
East Canada Creek, and eight miles from Little Falls, with which it is 
now connected by railroad. The principal part of the village, which 
includes all the factories, post-office, schools, business blocks, etc., is 
situated in the northeast corner of the township of Manheim. Many 
handsome residences, the academy, the Episcopal church, the lumber 
yards, etc., lie on the further side of the creek in the township of Op- 
penheim, Fulton county. 

Dolgeville is known as one of the most picturesque and healthful 
spots in the center of the State, and is especially adapted to manufac- 
turing purposes by reason of its splendid water power, fine surrounding 
timber lands, and other valuable advantages. 

Long after the Mohawk valley had been settled, principally by Ger- 
man emigrants, the present site of Dolgeville was one unbroken wilder- 
ness, known only to the hunter and trapper. 

It was not until several years after the War of the Revolution that the 
surrounding farms were settled by the Faville, Ayres, Spencer, Ransom, 
Spofford, Lamberson, Brockett and Rundell families. John Faville was 
the pioneer and settled in 1795 on Ransom Creek, where he built a 
grist-mill and later a saw mill. Soon a little settlement sprang up 
there, including a blacksmith shop, a tannery and a school-house. 
Soon following Faville, the two brothers. Elijah and Nathaniel Spen- 
cer, bought land and settled here; they arrived as early as 1797, and 
their lands have remained in possession of their descendants until 1892. 

Prior to this time a little industry was started at the present village 
site. Samuel Low, for many years a justice of the peace, built in or 


before 1794, a saw- mill and a grist-mill, which were located between the 
site of Dolge's iron bridge and the upper boiler-house. 

Zephi Brockett settled here in 1813, on the Oppenheim side of the 
creek, while the Spoffords came in about 1800 ; in the latter year Abe 
Spofford kept a tavern on the east side of the creek. Thomas Spof- 
ford settled in the south end of the village, and John D. Spofford came 
here in 18 10, bought a large farm, and built later on the residence 
now owned by Philip Helmer. 

There were no stores at this village until about 1830; the trading 
was done at Salisbury Corners, which was then a much more pre- 
tentious village than it is now. There was no direct road to Little 
Falls until 1815. Previous to that year, in order to reach that village, 
travelers followed a trail through the forest a part of the way, then 
took a road to Salisbury Corners, and thence the road to the Falls. 
Very much of the surrounding country was woodland until after 

The first permanent bridge here across the East Canada Creek was 
built in 1805 by a man named Green, and the settlement was for some 
time known as " Green's Bridge." This was an open truss bridge, of 
spruce timber, which was displaced in 1818 by one built of elm timber. 
In 1826-29 the covered wooden bridge was erected by Calvin Ran- 
som, at a cost of $540. A substantial iron bridge has recently been 

A post-office was established here in 1826, with Zephi Brockett as 
postmaster ; he was then the most prominent man in the settlement 
and the post-ofifice was named in his honor, " Brockett's Bridge." 

James P. Brockett, Charles G. Brockett, Addison Lamberson, Bruno 
C. Dolge, Henry A. Dolge and Frank J. Loucks have held the office 
of postmaster. 

\ The first burying-ground in the vicinity was the Sherwood cemetery, 
where many early settlers are buried. The Hewitt cemetery contains 
the graves of many old residents. The present cemetery was opened 
about sixty years ago; enlarged in 1870, and again in 1889. 

Following the saw -mill built by Low, Thomas Spofford built one 
and also a grist-mill, which were afterwards operated by the Ransoms, 
and by Erastus B. Jones; they stood near the west end of Dolge's 


iron bridge. Before 1815 Reuben Ransom built a carding and cloth- 
finishing mill ; it was torn down in 1836. He also built a small upper- 
leather tannery before 1820; work in which was abandoned about 

In 1830 Major D. B. Winton came here and built the tannery, 
afterwards known as the Herkimer County Tannery; it became 
one of the largest in the United States. Dwelling houses were 
built and several smaller manufacturing establishments were started. 
Henry Van Buren manufactured lead pipe and carried on wood turn- 
ing, and in 183 i the Westby axe factory was established. A saw-mill 
was erected by Scott & Smith, south of the island. John D. Spofford 
operated a saw mill and later on a stave-mill a little north of the 
Loomer Hotel. Several stores were opened and the place was a busy 
one, particularly in the winter season. In December, 1845, the tan- 
nery was burned ; it was rebuilt in the next year, the same walls being 
used. Mr. Westby's axe factory was converted by D. W. Slawson 
into a cheese box factory. A saw-mill was erected near the High 
Falls in 1847; it was afterwards changed to a paper-mill, which was 
twice burned down. 

The tanning business here was carried on by the firm of Isaac Corse, 
of New York (later Corse, Lapham, Thorn & Co., and still later Wat- 
son & Thorn). In 1856 Oliver Ladue became the manager of the 
tannery and continued until 1861. With the failure of the bark supply 
he left the tannery and it ceased work entirely in 1872. From that 
time until the arrival of Alfred Dolge times here were very dull. 

The real history of Dolgeville dates from 1S74, when Alfred Dolge, 
a young German who was engaged in the importing of piano material 
in New York, and who also had started the domestic manufacture of 
piano felt in Brooklyn, came up here prospecting for spruce wood which 
is used in the manufacture of piano sounding boards. He purchased 
the tannery property, and in April, 1875, began his manufacturing 
operations, which have since developed into the largest of their kind 
in the United States and include felt mills, felt shoe factories, factories 
for piano cases, piano sounding boards, piano hammers and lumber 

The Dolge piano felt and felt shoes have obtained an international 


reputation, tlie former having carried off the highest awards over all 
competition at the great exhibitions of Vienna, Paris and Philadelphia. 

In 1879 the lumber factory was erected, and in 1881 the saw- mill 
and two stone boiler houses with large brick chimneys. In 1882-83 
the magnificent stone factory, 266 x 64 feet, four stories high, was 
built. In 1887 two large stone buildings were erected. From 1878 to 
the present time several hundred dwelling houses have been built by 
Mr. Dolge, as well as by his employees and others, until now the pop- 
ulation has reached over 2,000, from an insignificant 325 in 1875. The 
new iron bridge connecting the factories with the lumber yards, was 
opened in 1881, and in the same year electric light was put into the 
lumber mills, to be introduced in the streets and houses in 1887. 

Besides some 30,000 acres in the Adirondacks, Mr. Dolge purchased, 
from time to time, extensive tracts of land in and about the village, 
which he has laid out into wide streets and excellent building lots. 

In 1 88 1, by unanimous vote of the inhabitants, the name of the 
place was changed from Brockett's Bridge to Dolgeville, in honor of 
the man who had by his enterprise and public spirit done so much to 
increase its prosperit}' and develop its material resources. 

In 1887 Mr. Dolge purchased the Reuben Faville farm, which in- 
cluded the picturesque High Falls of the East Canada Creek. This, 
to the extent of nearly five hundred acres, he laid out as a park and 
presented it to the public in 1887. It is of extraordinary beauty and 

The village was incorporated in 1 89 1. The first and present officers 
are: Alfred Dolge, president; Warren Bacon, Edwin Hopson, and L. 
E. Eambert, trustees. 

The first schools in this vicinity were at John Faville's, on Ransom 
Creek, and at a place about a mile east of the site of the village on the 
State road. To both of these pupils went from a long distance around. 
The first school in the village was opened in 18 15, and was taught by 
Susan Spofford, sister of John D. SpofTord. A select school was kept 
before 1830 by Mrs Worthing, wife of a Methodist preacher, who lived 
and taught in the old Small tannery. A brick school- liouse was built 
about 1832 on Main street and torn down in 1877. In 1856 the pres- 
ent old school building was erected at a cost of $1,500. On the 3d of 


August, 1886, largely through the influence of Alfred Dolge, the School 
Society was organized, its chief object being the general welfare of all 
the schools in the village. Through the work of this society, and a do- 
nation of if 7, 000 from Mr. Dolge, the present handsome and commo- 
dious brick school building was erected at a cost of $18,000, and dedi- 
cated with elaborate ceremonies on the iith of October, 1887. This 
school has a principal, who is assisted by seven teachers. The efforts 
of the School Society have recently resulted in the establishment of an- 
other institution of equal importance as the new school. The Dolge- 
ville Academy was dedicated on the 30th of August, 1890. It is a 
liandsome structure, seventy- four by forty feet, and cost about $20,000, 
which was contributed by Mr. Alfred Dolge, who has also borne the 
lion's share of the expense of running it. There are a large number of 
efficient teachers, headed by a principal. The course of instruction 
includes Latin and Greek, history, mathematics, English literature, 
music, domestic economy, and instruction in the mechanical arts, for 
which latter a suitable and commodious building has been recently 

The entire system of schools, which also includes an admirable kin- 
dergarten, is regarded as one of the best in the State, and has been re- 
peatedly commended by the State officials. The tuition is free in the 
schools and in the academy to all members of the School Society. 
The dues are nominal. The children of outside residents can also se- 
cure the advantages of the academy course by the payment of small 

Through the enterprise of the Dolgeville Herald, aided by leading 
citizens and friends of the village, a number of valuable prizes are now 
offered each year to the students, the principal prize being a $400 
scholarship, open to both sexes, which runs for four years, to enable the 
successful student to enter a college course at Cornell, the Boston Tech- 
nological School, or some other similar institution. One of these schol- 
arships which have been founded by Mr. Alfred Dolge's liberality, is 
given every year. 

The village has a fire department \v"hich, under the captaincy of Mr. 
Henry Dolge, has rendered invaluable services at various times to the 
property owners. 


One of the distinguishing enterprises in the place is the Dolgeville 
Herald, which started in May, 1889, as a four-page monthly, "printed in 
New York, and has since developed into a sixteen-page illustrated 
weekly, with a circulation all over the State. It is printed with its own 
type and presses and employs a large number of persons. John C. 
Freund is the editor. It is published by the Dolgeville Herald Publish- 
ing Company. The subscription is $2 a year. 

Dolgeville boasts a number of fraternal and social societies, which 
are all in a flourishing condition : A Masonic lodge, a chapter of Royal 
Arcanum, Society of Chosen Friends, a brass and reed band, a German 
Turn-Verein, a singing society, a dancing school, a fencing club, and a 
canton of Odd Fellows. 

In addition to these, Dolgeville has a building and loan association, 
which, although in operation but two years, is highly successful and 
has a capital of over $12,000. 

The Turn-Verein, which has /tf/c^ gained the "Lion Prize" at the 
great State Turner meetings, has largely aided in providing pleasant 
entertainment for the villagers ever since its establishment. Its social 
meetings, concerts, and balls are eagerly looked forward to. It occu- 
pied a fine club house on Elm street, but this is being transformed 
into a factory, as the Turners have decided to build a new home, on a 
much larger scale, which is to cost $15,000. 

Another notable institution is the Free Library, which is under the 
fostering care of the School Society. The library contains one of the 
largest and best collections of standard works to be found in the State. 
It has large and commodious. reading rooms. It is supplied by volun- 
tary contributions, and has been established by generous donations of 
books from many public -spirited citizens all over the country. 

Besides the various industries founded in this village by Alfred Dolge, 
and which give employment to nearly 600 hands, there are other 
business interests : The piano factory of Brambach & Co., located in 
the south end of the village, turns out a great many hundreds of 
high grade pianos during the year, and employs about 150 hands. 

The Dolgeville Woolen Company manufact-tires fine grades of piano 
cloth, printer's cloth, etc. It employs about fifty hands and is situated 
at the junction of East Canada and Spruce Creeks. Hugo Dolge is 
president and Ottomar Jessnitzer, treasurer. 


The Giese Wire Factory is located next to the Dolgeville Woolen 
Company, and manufactures all kinds of piano wire, bookbinder's and 
florist's wire, bicycle spokes, etc. It started recently with about thirty 

The C. F. Zimmerman Company manufactures a musical instrument 
similar to the German zither, called the auto-harp. It was recently 
removed from Philadelphia, and has a paid-up capital of $100,000. It 
employs a great number of hands. 

The manufacture of piano cases is assuming large proportions, and 
in 1893 there will be an output of over 2,000. 

Negotiations are now in progress by which a large silk mill, a ma- 
chine shop, a woolen factory, a foundry, and a brickyard will all be 
started here in 1893. 

The Dolgeville Coal Company was started in 1892 with a cash capital 
of $20,000. It has built large coal sheds, with all the latest appliances, 
near the terminus of the Dolgeville Railroad. 

The Dolgeville Electric Liglit and Power Company was organized in 
1 89 1 with a cash capital of $25,000. At its first annual meeting it 
declared a dividend of six per cent. 

Wheeler Knapp carries on a steam saw and planing- mill, which he 
built in 1885; it was burned in 1886, and rebuilt. There is also a 
cheese factory located here. 

The Methodist Episcopal church at Brockett's Bridge was organized 
in 181 1, and a church edifice was built in the same year on grounds 
donated by John D. Spofford. It was a frame structure and for many 
years was used as a Masonic Temple and Good Templars' Hall ; it is 
now in use as a barn. In 1841 a brick church was erected here by the 
Christian denomination and used by them about twenty years, when 
the Methodist society purchased it. The present pastor is Rev. Will- 
iam Watson. A Free church was erected in 1856, through the efforts 
of abolitionists ; it is now in use as a skating rink. An Episcopal 
chapel was organized in 1 89 1, and recently a handsome church was 
built on Dolge avenue. A Universalist society was organized in 1892 
and is in flourishing condition. Roman Catholic services are held here 
at intervals, and the members of that church purpose the erection of a 
chapel in the near future. There are now located at Dolgeville ten 


general merchandise and grocery stores, a bank, four butcher shops, 
one firm of contractors, two hardware stores, one dry goods store, two 
boot and shoe stores, one grist-mill, one feed store, two watchmakers, 
three insurance agents, two civil engineers, three physicians, two den- 
tists, one lawyer, two blacksmith shops, four hotels, seven saloons and 
liquor stores and two bottling establishments. 

The opening of the railroad between Little Falls and DolgeviJle in 
the winter of 1892 has given a new impetus to the rapid development 
of the little village, and with the new enterprises which have recently 
been started will undoubtedly largely increase its population. The road 
has been in course of construction for the last three years and cost 
nearly a half million of dollars. By it Dolgeville has direct communi- 
cation with New York, Boston and Chicago. 

Perhaps the feature of life at Dolgeville which has most attracted 
general public attention to it is the " Earning Sharing" system, which 
Mr. Dolge has had in operation with his employees for the last sixteen 
years. This sj'stem comprises an insurance plan and endowment fund, 
a pension fund and is supplemented by a sick fund and mutual aid so- 
ciety. By the insurance plan employees after each five, ten and fifteen 
years of consecutive service, get a policy of insurance for $i,ooo. The 
firm pays the premiums. The amount of insurance carried by the firm 
for its employees was in December, 1892, over $200,000. 

By the pension plan employees after various terms of service can re- 
tire on from forty to one hundred per cent, of the wages earned the last 
year of their service. 

By the endowment fund employees are annually credited with their 
share of all money earned by them over and above their wages by 
superior skill, acuracy or the invention of new machinery or improve- 
ments. This sum draws six per cent, interest and is paid them when 
sixty years of age, or to their families at their death. 

In his various plans for the welfare of his employees Mr. Dolge has 
already expended over a quarter of a million dollars. 

The story of Dolgeville is a romance. That out of a forlorn little 
settlement of scarcely 300 souls on the verge of the great Adirondack 
wilderness a prosperous, intelligent and law abiding community of over 
2,000 persons, with leading industries, excellent schools, a widely read 


newspaper, a railroad, have all been built up within a few years in the 
face of tlie most tremendous obstacles, by a young German who landed 
in this country without a dollar and ignorant of our language, is surely 
something of which Herkimer county, and indeed the State of New 
York, can be proud. Dolgeville has been the life work of one broad 
minded, public spirited man of ceaseless energy, vast enterprise and 
most indomitable industry. Tliat he was aided by many others firm 
of purpose, strong in character and distinguished in ability, is undoubt- 
ed, but it was the conspicuous qualities that made Alfred Dolge a 
born leader of men, that attracted such men to him, enlisted their 
sympathy, aroused their enthusiasm and bound them to him with 
something more than the ordinary bond of self-interest and personal 

Ingham's Mills. — This small village is situated on East Canada Creek, 
near the southwestern part of the town. The first improvements made 
at this point were by Colonel William Feeter, who built a saw and grist- 
mill about the year 1802 The grist-mill is still standing and in oper- 
ation, and is one of the oldest mills in the county. Adam Feeter, son 
of William, settled here also, and took the mills after his father. Alonzo 
Ingham settled here in 1808, and built a carding and cloth-dressing 
mill adjoining the grist-mill. Harvey Ingham came here in 1820, and 
from him the place takes its name. The first store was kept by Thomp- 
son & McAllister in 1818. In 1842 Samuel Sadler came to the place 
and bought the mills of H. H. Ingham, and from him the grist mill 
passed into possession of his son, J. D. Sadler, who now runs it, and 
also a store. The carding-mill was changed to a cider-mill. An oil- 
mill for the manufacture of linseed oil was conducted by Ezra and 
Howard Sampson, and later by D. S. Ingham. The saw- mill was 
changed to a cheese-box factory and is now operated by J. B. Sadler, 
who also keeps a hotel. The wood bridge here was built by Calvin 
Ransom in 1829, and the iron bridge in 1889. The post-office was es- 
tablished in 1862, with Erastus Ingham as postmaster; the present 
postmaster is Merril Guile. 

A Baptist society was organized here in 181 8, and Rev. Augustus 
Beach was the first pastor. Meetings were held in the school-house 
near by, and over in Oppenheim, until 1841, when the present stone 


church was erected. On the lOth of January, 1842, a society was reg- 
ularly incorporated, with the following trustees : Nathan Brown, Joseph 
Hewett, John P. Claus, George S. Allen, Leonard L. Bauder, Harvey 
Ingham, David Snell, Henry Shaul, and Stephen Bowen. The church 
has always maintained services with reasonable regularity. Rev. J. G. 
Guller is the present pastor. 

In 1856 a Methodist society built a church in district No. 5, and 
irregular preaching has been kept up. 

Several years previous to the Revolution Sufifrenus, Peter, Joseph and 
Jacob Snell, of Snell's Bush, made a donation of seven acres of land for 
a church lot and twelve acres for school purposes. A church was built 
there and burned in the Revolution, but was afterwards rebuilt. It 
stood until 1 850, when it was taken down and the present edifice erected ; 
it is known as the Reformed Dutch church. The school- house in that 
district occupies the school lot, but eleven and one half acres of the lat- 
ter were transferred by the Legislature to the church. Rev. Caleb Alex- 
ander made a missionary tour through the county in 1801, and wrote: 
" Between F"airfield and Little Falls is a Dutch settlement called Man- 
heim ; rich farms, a meeting-house and a minister." 

On September i, 1821, a religious society was incorporated at Rem- 
ensneider's Bush, under the name of the German Evangelical Society 
of the County of Herkimer. In 1822 a frame church was built on six 
acres of land donated by persons of the Lutheran and Reformed denom- 
inations. Rev. John P. Spinner was pastor of this society at the time 
of its organization. The name of the society was changed in 1847 to 
the Dutch Reformed and Lutheran Union Church. The building was 
remodeled and improved in 1853. 



THE town of Danube was not formed until April 17, 1817, previous 
to which time it was a part of the town of Minden, Montgomery 
county; but it was settled almost as early as any part of Herkimer 
county. Previous to March 18, i82S,it embraced what is now the town 
of Stark. It is bounded on the north by the Mohawk River ; on the east 
by the town of Minden, Montgomery county ; on the south by Stark, 
and on tlie west by Little Falls. Along its northern border are the river 
flats, but the central and southern parts are hilly, rising from 400 to 800 
feet above the Mohawk, and broken by ravines on both sides of Nowa- 
daga Creek. The soil in the northern part is a gravelly loam, inclining 
to sandy loam in the southern parts. It is well adapted to grazing. 
Nowadaga Creek is the principal stream, and flows across the town in a 
northeasterly direction, with a rapid fall. Loyal Creek and other small 
streams are tributary to it. There are several springs in the town that 
are impregnated with sulphur. The town embraces nearly the whole 
of Lindsay's patent and parts of Vrooman's, Colden's, Van Home's, 
and Lansing's patents, with small portions of Fall Hill, Vaughn's, and 
L'Hommedieu's patents. 

The town will always be memorable in history as containing the site 
of the upper Mohawk Indian Castle, the home of the celebrated Mo- 
hawk chief, King Hendrick, and the home and tomb of General Nich- 
olas Herkimer. The site of the Castle was just east of the Nowadaga 
Creek, a little distance from the river, and near where the old Castle 
church now Stands.^ Hendrick's residence stood upon elevated ground 
immediately in the rear of the site of the residence now occupied by 
Willis L. Greene, opposite the Castle church. 

' The followinK description of the fort was written in 175S ; " It is a square of four bastions, of 
upright pickets, joined together with lintels. They are fifteen feet high, about one foot square, 
with port holes inserted from distance to distance, with a stage all round to fire from. The tort is 
one hundred paces on each side. It is surrounded with a ditch. There are some small pieces of 
cannon at each of its bastions, and a house at each curtain to serve as a store and barrack. Five 
or six families of Mohawk Indians reside at the fort." 


The Indian Castle church is one of three mission churches built sev- 
eral years previous to the Revolution under the auspices of Sir William 
Johnson. It was built in 1769. In 1772 Sir William speaks of having 
erected a church at his own expense at " the Canajoharies " (alluding 
to this church), and laments that it is in great measure useless, in con- 
sequence of his not being able to secure a missionary for it. The build- 
ing is still standing and used for a church, with the original bell in the 
steeple, and is one of the most interesting historical structures in the 
county. When first built it stood sidewise to the road ; but about 1830 
the old boards were torn off and replaced with new ; a new roof was 
put on, the steeple slightly changed, and some interior alterations made, 
and in 1856 it was turned round to its present position, and altered and 
improved at a cost of about $1,600. 

General Herkimer's residence is situated about two and and a half 
miles east of Little Falls, south of the river, near the canal, and within a 
few feet of the West Shore railroad. Built of brick imported from Hol- 
land about the year 1764, it 
is a large substantial edifice 
for its time and cost about 
$8,000 There is a secret 
underground passage con- 
necting with a stone powder- 
house near-b)', which is used 
at the present time for storing 
vegetables. Its original ex- 
ternal appearance remains as 
at first, but the interior has 
been considerably changed. 
After the death of General 
HerJcinier it came into pos- 
session of George Herkimer, 
who occupied it until his 
death in 1786. He left seven children, who inherited the estate, the 
mansion falling to John Herkimer, who resided there until about 18 14, 
when he transferred it to other hands. It is now in the possession of 
Mrs. Gertrude Bidleman Garlock, and occupied by a tenant. General 

The Ge.neral Herkimek Homesik.^u. 


Herkimer was buried on a knoll a short distance southeast of his resi- 
dence. Steps were taken in 1777 by Congress to have a monument 
erected over the grave, but it is a melancholy fact that until 1847, no 
stone marked the brave soldier's resting place. A plain marble slab 
was then put up by the late Warren Herkimer, bearing the following 
inscription : 


Nicholas Herkimer, 


Aug. 17, 1777, 

Ten days after the battle of Oriskany, in which engagement he 

received wounds which caused his death. 

At the time of the division of this town, March 18, 1828, Daniel Van 
Home was supervisor. The records of the town previous to that date 
are not accessible The first (special) town meeting for the reorganiza- 
tion of Danube was held on the 22d of April, 1828, at the house of 
Charles Pomeroy, and the following officers were elected : 

Supervisor, Dr. John Helmer ; town clerk, Benjamin Klock ; assessors, Louis Reed, 
Henrj' C. Cronkhite; over.seer of poor, George Dominick ; commissioner of highways, 
William Bush; school commissioner, Daniel Bellinger; inspectors of schools, Ralph 
Simms, Henry Perry ; constables, Henrj' Hardendorf, Nathan P.Wilcox, Joseph M. 
Thompson ; collector, George N. Schuyler. 

Following is a list of supervisors of this town, with date of their in- 
cumbency : 

John Holmes, 1828, 1838; Henry Moyer, 1829,1834; John Harder, 1830; Asa Wil- 
ou... 1831, 1844; Daniel Bellinger, 1832, 1852 ; John Riohtmeyer, 1833 ; Ralph Simms, 
1835; Nicholas Schuyler. 1836; Thomas I. Mesick, 1837; Abrara Snyder, 1839; 
Philip Jone.=, 1840, 1853.1854; Blias Fink, 1841; Caleb Eosboth, 1842; John Harder, 
jr., 1843; John Shull, 1845; Peter P. Smith, 1846; Abraham Owen, 1847; Henry 
Houpt, 1848, 1860-61; John A. Holmes, 1849; David Johnson, 1850-51; William 
Davy, 1855; John Smith, 1856, 1863, 1864; P. Henry Miller, 1857; Henry Miller, 
1858-59 ; Jacob Walter, 1802 ; John J. Ostrander, 1805 ; Levenus Devendorf, 1866-67 ; 
Calvin Harder, 1868-69; Alexander Fox, 1870; Luther Dillenback, 1871 ; Stephen G. 
Spoor, 1872, 1873; Alvin Decker, 1874-75; Daniel Cronkhite, 1876-77; Edwin 
Dpfkor, 1878, 1879; John M. Gardinier. 1880; S;.nt"ord John.son, 1881-84; L H. 
Scelx-r, 1885. 1886; E. V. Decker, 1887, 1888; Felix Schuyler, 1889, 1890; William 
Tibbitt.'^, 1891, 1892. 

The men above mentioned were chiefly early settlers, and the accom- 
panying list of supervisors contains the names of many others who in 


the past were more or less conpicuous in the affairs of the town. Peter 
P. Smith is still living at the age of ninety- two years. John A. Holmes, 
supervisor in 1849, "'^s a fanner at the Castle, as was his father in earlier 

The first settlers in the town were German Palatines, who located on 
the flats along the river. These settlements were considerably broken 
up during the Revolution, and very little is known in detail of the 
prisoners. Cornelius Van Alstine came in very earlj' and kept the first 
tavern in 1795, and Peter Smith opened a store at about the same time. 
The first grist-mill was near the mouth of Nowadaga Creek on the east 
side, and was erected by Andrew Nellis in 1800. The first settlers in 
the vicinity of Newville were Nathan Wilcox and his brother Isaiah, who 
came from Connecticut about 1793 and located where the hamlet is now 
situated. The next settler in the southern part was a German named 
Martin Siver, who located about two miles south of Wilcox, near 
the place now occupied by R. M. Pickard. John Harder came from 
Columbia county to this town about 1797, and settled on the farm 
now owned by S. G. Spoor, south of Newville ; he died in 1866 and 
has descendants in the town. William Ostrander was an early settler 
in the southeastern part; he came in 1801 and located on the farm 
now occupied by his grandson, William. He kept a public house on 
that farm for several years previous to 182S, and continued his residence 
there until his death in 1847. Cornelius Delong settled early on the 
farm now occupied by his great-grandson, C. E. Delong. Thomas I. 
Mesick came from Columbia county in 1818 and settled on the farm 
now occupied by his son Henry, where he resided until his death in 
March, 1868. He was a captain in the war of 1812. 

Edward Simms, son of Ralph Simms, who was clerk of the county at 
one time, was born in this town, where he resided many years. He 
removed a few years since to the town of Manheim. Anson Harder, 
now a practicing lawyer in Jefferson county, was also born in this town. 

The town of Danube is now largely a dairy community, there being 
five factories in operation at the present time. Many of the farms will 
compare favorably in production, buildings, etc., with an\- in the 
county. Tliere is very little manufacturing or mercantile business now 
carried on. The only village is Newville, which is situated about four 


miles from the Mohawk River, on the Novvadaga Creek, at the foot of 
Ostrander Hill. The post-office was established about 1827, with Ben- 
jamin Klock as postmaster. The present postmaster is Silas W. Wright. 
The settlement of the two Wilcox brothers at this point has already 
been noticed. Samuel Houpt came from Pennsylvania in 1804 and in 
the same year erected a grist-mill on the west side of the creek. He 
soon afterward built and operated a fulling and carding-mill here. 
Andrew Carpenter built about the year 1805 a small tannery, which 
stood on the site of the hotel, now the dwelling of F. F. Lewis. The 
first blacksmith was John McMullin, who began business about 1806. 
The first store was built and kept by Andrew Oothout, and it stood 
near the present residence of David Harrad. Other early merchants 
were Henry Lieber and Henry Gross. The latter also carried on a 
small distillery here and a tannery. All of these have disappeared. 
Mr. Lewis now operates the saw and grist mill at Newville. There is 
a station on the West Shore Railroad called Indian Castle, and a post- 
office (Danube) which is in charge of Mrs. Abbie Smith. 

The first school-house was of logs and was built about 1798 on the 
farm recently occupied by Alvin Decker. It was burned in 1806 and 
a frame house built soon afterwards. There are now nine school dis- 
tricts in the town and two parts of districts, with nine school-houses. 

A Methodist society formerly existed at the Castle and held meet- 
ings in the Castle church, but it became extinct about 1840. A Dutch 
Reformed society was organized there in i860 and for about fifteen 
years kept up its services with commendable regularity, but it has 
nearly died out. The Union church at Newville was erected in 1835 
by the Lutheran, Baptist and Universalist societies. In 1867 it under- 
went thorough repair and received a new bell and an organ. The Bap- 
tist and Lutheran societies are extinct. The Evangelical Lutheran 
church of Newville was organized in the school-house by Rev. Lam- 
bert Swackhamer, of Manheim, in July, 1834, with eight male mem- 
bers. Among the pastors who have served the church are Mr. Swack- 
hamer, J. D. Lambert, Sufirenus Oltman, Nicholas Van Alstine, M. 
W. Empie, Conrad Ochampaugh, and James H. Weaver. The society 
is small. A Dutch Reformed church once existed in the southern part 
ol tiie town, which was probably organized as early as 1816. There 
are no records of its life in existence. 




'HIS is the southeastern town of Herkimer county and, with one 
exception, the latest one organized, the date being March 18, 
1828, when it was taken from Danube. It contains parts of Hender- 
son's. L'Hommedieu's, Vaughn's, McNeil's, J. Vrooman's, Coldcn's, Liv- 
ingston's and Lansing's patents. The town derived its name from 
General Stark, of Revolutionary fame. In 1868 there were taken from 
Little Falls and added to this town 1,600 acres, and in 1869 300 acres 
were taken from Warren and added to it. The soil is a clay loam, 
fertile and well adapted to dairying and the raising of grain. 

The town of Stark is somewhat noted for its unusual natural features. 
Its surface is hilly and broken and the Otsquago Creek flows between 
high banks across the town in a northeasterly direction. It has its 
headwaters in the vicinity of Van Hornesville, 940 feet above the Mo- 
hawk at Fort Plain, where it empties into that river. This great fall 
has in past years furnished excellent water-power for many mills of 
various kinds. Marble of fair quality has been quarried near Smith's 
Corners, in the northern part. There are several important springs in 
the town, among them the burning spring in the upper part of the val- 
ley of Otsquago Creek, near Van Hornesville. The water of this spring 
is not clear, has an offensive odor, and emits a gas which will ignite and 
burn with an unsteady, bluish flame. There are springs near the ham- 
let of Bethel, in the northwestern part, that are impregnated with iron 
and are efficacious in some diseases. A sulphur spring is situated near 
Starkville, and others in various parts of the town, the waters of which 
have the reputation of curing diseases. 

The Oheisa Creek rises on the farm of M. Walts in the southwest 

part of the town and flows in a general northerly direction into the 

town of Danube. Along this creek is a deep and picturesque gorge. 

• \t c^ Near the mills formerly owned by Daniel Tilyou, about a mile below 

Van Hornesville, is a cave of quite remarkable characteristics, although 

'^^^Qj-arVftO it has never been explored in its remote depths. 




is the southe? 

unty and, with one 
• being March i 
s parts of Hendc, 
Man's, Colden's, Liv- 
L-l its name from 
re taken from 
... 1869 300 acres 
soil is a clay loam, 
of grain. 
:;ial natural features. 

L'Oyc tlie i\lo- 
This great fall 
many mills of 
1 near Smith's 
Lnt springs in 
art of the val- 
I of this spr; 
will ignite an.; 
near the ham- 
ited with iron 
.^ situated near 
. aters of which 



11) the southwest 

direction into the 

! resque gorge. 

t a mile below 

^tics, although 



One of the old Indian trails passed through the town from the Mo- 
hawk, following nearly the line of the Utica and Minden turnpike, un- 
til it reached Van Hornesville, when it bore southward until it reached 
the " Chyle," where it intersected another trail. 

The first settlement of this town was made near the headwaters of 
the Otsquago Creek prior to the Revolution. Another settlement was 
made on or near the line of this town and Springfield at about the same 
time ; but it was probably just outside of Herkimer county. The 
settlers on the creek were the Shaul, the Rronner (or Broner), Jacob 
and Frederick, John Feterly (or Fetherly) and George Feterly, and the 
Johannes Smith families. Richard Shaul owned the farm settled by 
Jacob Bronner and married one of Bronner's descendants. Hiram Ward 
married a descendant of Frederick Bronner and lived on the farm lo- 
cated by Mr. Bronner. George and John Fetherly settled near Van 
Hornesville, and Matthew, Sebastian, and John Shaul settled on the 
farm recently owned by D. H. Springer in the western part of the 
town. John was a Revolutionary soldier, and late in the fall of 1778 
the three brothers were captured by a party of sixteen Indians under 
Brant. Reaching the foot of Schuyler Lake the party divided and five 
of the Indians took the Shaul boys to Newton (now Elmira), where they 
remained until the arrival of the Sullivan expedition, when they were 
taken to Canada. They were recaptured after an attempted escape and 
were about to be killed, when a British officer secured their release by 
paying $25 each for them, and they returned to Stark. David Shaul, 
great-grandson of John, now owns the old homestead, and Minard 
Shaul owns the homestead of Matthew. In the fall of 1781 the little 
settlement in Stark was destroyed by Brant and his Indians and tories. 
Jacob Bronner, his son Christian and daughter Sophronia, were among 
the prisoners taken. The father and son were soon liberated, but the 
daughter was kept twelve years. Her whereabouts was made known 
by Jacob Eckler after his release, and she was finally returned to her 

The Elwood family are of English descent and settled here early. 
Richard, with his wife and two children, came to the Mohawk valley 
near St. Johnsville in 1748, where he built a stone dwelling which is 
still standing. A few years later he died, leaving four sons, Richard, 


Isaac, Benjamin, and Peter, all of whom were conspicuous in the early 
history of the valley. Senator A R. Elwood, late of Richfield Springs, 
was a descendant of Richard Elwood. Col. Henry Elwood, who lived 
for many years in the town of Danube, was a son of Peter Elwood. 
Peter Elwood, the youngest son, died on his farm in 183 i, at the age of 
seventy seven years. David Elwood, son of Peter, settled in Danube 
about the year 1813, and remained until his death in 1859 He was a 
prominent citizen and left four sons, Daniel, Henry, Moses, and 
David B. 

Richard Van Home, from whom the village of Van Hornesville is 

named, was a native of New Jersey, and came to the site of the village 

in 1 79 1. There he, with his brother Daniel, began mercantile trade, 

and soon built mills and engaged in the flouring business on what was 

then a large scale ; their flour was taken to Fort Plain, whence the West- 

^ vi ern Inland Lock and Navigation Company took it down the Mohawk to 

• CQ market. This business increased and for many years the Van Home 

.^•<j brothers were the largest wheat and produce buyers in this section. 

m ;^ Richard Van Home was a member of the Legislature in 1809-10 and 

jft "* yin 1812, and his political influence was great. He died at Van Hornes- 

^^ville in March, 1823. 

Dr. Willsey was the first physician in tiie town and settled on what 
is known as Willsey Hill, in the southeastern part, in J 797. Simeon 
Conklin, the first blacksmith, settled north of Van Hornesville in 1798. 
The first town meeting for the town of Stark was held at the house 
of .Andrew Smith, March 28, 1828, when the following officers were 
elected : 

Supervisor, Daniel Van Home ; town clerk. Cornelius W. Vedder ; collector, George 
J. YoiHig; overseer.'! of the poor, James Winegar and Jacob S. Mover; assessors, Cor- 
nelius Sloiigliter, Robert Johnson, and J. H. Walrath ; commissioners of highways, 
I'Vederick Smith, John Kinter, and Adam Shaul ; inspectors of common schooLs, Peter 
P. Murphy, Stephen Halstead, and Richard Conklin ; school commissioners, Frederick 
Broner, William Watson, and Jacob P. Shaver; constables, William Gibson, Felix 
Broner, jr., and John Fulmer. 

By the date last mentioned the town had become quite thickly set- 
tled and much of it cleared. Among others more or less prominent in 
its early history were George Springer, who lived at Starkville ; William 
H. Parkhill, who was supervisor in 1841 ; Cornelius Sloughter, who lived 


two miles north of Van Hornesville ; Truman Miner, supervisor in 1848, 
who settled three miles north of Van Hornesville; Levi Weeks, super- 
visor for many years, who settled east of Van Hornesville; Sylvester H. 
Ellsworth, supervisor in 1 862, who lived a mile east of Starkville ; Alex- 
ander Smith, still living at Starkville, at one time sheriff of the county; 
Menzo Kelly, of Van Hornesville, and others yet to be mentioned. 

The town of Stark is now essentially a dairy district, the manufact- 
ure of cheese being the principal industry. Hops have been raised to 
a large extent and considerable attention is still given to that product. 
Stark ranks among the very best of the fruit sections in the county, 
while the production of honey has formed a not unimportant part of the 
town productions. At the present time there are six cheese factories 
in operation in the town, and the product stands high in the market. 

The first school was taught at Starkville by Mills Bristol, in the first 
school-house built in the town, as far as now known The school- house 
was built in 1802 on the south side of the Otsquaga Creek, on the flat 
opposite Abraham Maxwell's blacksmith shop. There are now ten 
school districts in the town. 

Following is a list of supervisors of this town, with date of their in- 
cumbency : 

1828, Daniel Van Home; 1829-30, Ethan Sawing; 1831, James Winegar; 1832, 
iSM, 1838, 1845,1840, 1855, C. T. E. Van Home; 1833, David Elwood ; 1839, Solo- 
mon Keller; 1840, 185.3, 18.54, 18.56, George Springer; 1841, William S. Parkhill 
1842, Cornelius Sloughter; 1843-44, Frederick Bronner; 1847-48, Truman Miner 
1849, H. A. Casposas; 1850, Alexander Hall ; 1851-52, 1857-58, 1866, Levi Wick 
1859-60, 1863, Richard Van Home; 1861, Daniel Shall; 1862, Sylvester H.Ellsworth 
1864-65, Alexander Smith ; 1867-68, Menzo Kelley ; 1869, Alexander Smith ; 1870-71, 
Jacob A. Fike.'i ; 1372-73, Peter Moyer ; 1874-75, Oliver H. Springer; 1876, Joseph 
Shumway; 1877-79, S. H. Ellsworth: 1880-81, Daniel Hawn ; 1882-83, Willard 
Weeks; 1884-85, Oliver H. Springer; 1886-87, Lewi.'; G. Young; 1888, Charles A. El- 
wood ; 1889-90, Gershom Smith ; 1891-92, Delavan Elwood. 

Vau Hornesville — Is a pleasant small village, situated near the south 
side of the town. The first settlement was made here by Thomas Van 
Home, who was a sergeant in Capt. Henry Eckler's company of Revo- 
lutionary soldiers. The coming here of Richard Van Home has been 
noted ; he built the first grist-mill in 1793 and a distillery in the same 
year; in 1794 he built and opened a store. 


It was a busy little place in early years, the creek supplying excellent 
water power, and the old plank road from Fort Plain to Cooperstow n 
being built through the village. Cornelius Ten Eyke Van Home was 
clerk of the county in 1856. In 1836 a cotton factory was built and 
put in operation by Elias Branian & Co. It is not now in use. The 
flax and cider-mill of James Cramer is on the site of an old card- 
ing and fulling-mill. The present grist-mill, owned by Byron Hollen- 
beck, stands on the site of the early Van Home mill. A furnace was 
built in 1827 by Mr. Stansell, which is now owned by Joseph Tunniclifif; 
it is not in operation. What was recently a furniture manufacturing es- 
tablishment stands on the site of a distillery that was built in 1840. 
The saw-mills here are owned by O. N. Young and Daniel Tilyou. In 
1800 Jonathan Conklin built the first tannery in the town at this place; 
it was known as Kershaw's tannery in recent years, but has not been 
operated for some time There was a trip-hammer also in operation 
here in 1800, but that long ago went to decay. The present post- 
master at Van Hornesville is Lewis Eckler. E. M. Snyder has a store 
which he has conducted since 1890, succeeding J. Wettereau. J. M. 
Wiles is another merchant, and Joseph H. Shumway formerly carried 
on a store here for many years. The two hotels are kept respectively 
by J. W. Kinter and Orange Tunniclifif; the old house was built about 
1854 b\' Wellington Tunniclifif. F. P. Marsh has a blacksmith shop and 
Adelbert Tunniclifif a wagon shop. 

Starkvillc — The only other considerable village in this town, is situ- 
ated near the northeast comer at the confluence of Otsquago and Camp 
Creeks, and at the junction of the old Fort Plain and Cooperstown and 
the Utica and Minden turnpikes. The site of the village was settled in 
i788byJohan (or Johannes) Smith, who built the first_ frame house 
here ; he was the great grandfather of Alexander Smith, still living at 
Starkville, and the house stood on the site of his present residence. 
Daniel Champion was another early settler here, coming in 1798; Barney 
Champion was his grandson, and the house built by the pioneer stood 
where the widow of the latter lives. Daniel Champion built the first 
saw- mill in 1800 ; it stood on the south side of the creek, about half at 
mile west of the village near the Alexander Hall place. John Cham- 
pion opened the first store in 1810 on the site now occupied by the 


dwelling of Abraham Maxwell. Mr. Champion also built the first 
grist-mill in 1812, which stood where Martin Mathews now lives. In 
1 8 14 Jesse Brown built a carding-mill where the flax-mill stands. The 
first tavern was kept by Johannes Smith, who located at Starkville in 
178S. After his death, which occurred in 1796, Andrew Smith con- 
ducted it until 1844, on the site where Alexander Smith now lives. In 
1823 John Champion built a trip-hammer shop where the widow of 
Alexander Hall now owns. Robert C. Hall began keeping a store here 
in 1863 in association with his father, John R., who was one of the early 
merchants; the latter died in 1883. Mr. Hall is postmaster, having 
had the office two terms. The present hotel was built by John A. and 
J. Walrath, and is kept by Henry Husen. L. J. Brandow is one of the 
enterprising citizens of Starkville and has a large wagon manufactory. 
The grist-mill and saw- mill are operated by Abraham De Garmo. 
There was in former years a tannery here, but it has fallen into decay. 

A busy little hamlet existed at what is known as Brown's Hollow in 
early years ; but most of its activity has died out. The place was 
founded by Judge Henry Brown, who brought considerable wealth to 
the place and established mills and several industries, all of which have 
gone into disuse and decay, excepting the saw-mill. 

Deck — Is the name of a post-office in the northern part of the town ; 
the office is a recently established one, with Alanson Young, the local 
merchant, as postmaster. This point has been known as Bethel and as 
Wick's Corners. There is a union church here, but no regular services 
are held. Peter Chickering is a blacksmith here. 

Smith's Corners — Is a settlement a little west of Deck, where there 
was formerly a tannery, which is not operated now, a saw- mill and a 
store. Alexander Fort is now the merchant here. 

Churches. — In the early part of this century religious services were held 
in this town, usually by Methodist circuit riders, who formed classes, and 
later societies. One of these was organized early at Starkville, and in 
February, 1829, they took up steps to build an edifice. The society was 
incorporated under the name of the First Methodist Episcopal Church 
of Starkville, and the building erected continued in use for about forty- 
five years. In 1874 it was thoroughly remodeled at an expense of 
$3,400. The society has never been large, but it is and has been en- 



thusiastic in its good work. The present pastor is Seward L. Little- 
field. The Methodist society at Van Hornesville has also had a long 
existence, and the union edifice at that place was built in 1847, the 
Methodists having an interest in it with the Baptists and Universalists. 
Tiie pastor of the M. E. church has ahvajs served at both places. S. 
R. Ward is the present pastor of the Universalists at Van Hornesville. 
There was a Universalist society organized at StarkviJle in 1876 with 
the following trustees : A. B. Champion, Henry Hawn, M. C. Smith, 
O. H. Springer. A. B. Champion and Washington Champion were 
then the only members of the Free Will Baptist church at that place, 
and being trustees of that society and owning an equal share in the old 
church with the Lutherans, they gave a deed, June 5, 1876, of their 
right and title in said church to Alexander Smith and Daniel Hawn for 
the benefit of the Universalist society. No services are held in this 
church at the present time. 


WARREN is the most southerly town in Herkimer county, and re- 
ceived its name in honor of General Joseph Warren, who fell at 
the battle of Bunker Hill. It was taken from German Flats on the 5th 
of February, 1796, and originally contained all of the present town of 
Columbia. A small tract was taken from it and added to Stark in 
1869. It is bounded on the north by German Flats and Little Falls ; 
on the east by Stark and Otsego county ; on the south by Otsego 
county, and on the west by Columbia and Otsego county. It em- 
braces the principal parts of Henderson's and Theobald Young's pat- 

Among the German settlements made a considerable distance south 
of the Mohawk River before the Revolution, was one at Andrus- 
town, composed of Germans from the upper valley, and another at the 
Little Lakes, both of which were within the present town of Warren. 
These will be more fully described a little further on. 


The surface of Warren is upland, several ranges of hills traversing 
the town from east to west, one of which constitutes a part of the water- 
shed between the Mohawk and Susquelianna rivers. Fish Creek flows 
southward across the town, and along its banks in early years were 
many saw- mills, a grist-mill, four tanneries and many other industries, 
every one of which has disappeared. The Little Lakes are two small 
bodies of water near the south part of the town, which are fed by two 
small streams, which also supplied power to several mills long ago. 
Mud Lake is in the northeastern part of the town, and Weaver Lake is 
another small body of water. The soil is a rich clay loam and nearly 
all susceptible to cultivation; but dairying is the chief industry, and 
there are now six cheese factories in the town. The shipping of milk 
to New York by rail is beginning and promises to increase. 

The German settlement at Andrustown was about two miles north- 
east from the site of Jordanville. This settlement included, so far as 
can be learned, the families of Paul Grim, George Hoyer, John Osfcer- 
hout, George Staring, Frederick Bell, Stephen Frank, Frederick Lep- 
per, and probably a few others. Little is known of the settlement, or 
of that at the Little Lakes until 1758, when some of the residents fled 
from the French and Indians, who in that year devastated the Mohawk 
valley. At the close of that war they returned and rebuilt their de- 
spoiled homes. From this time until the War of the Revolution there 
is little record of what was done at the points in consideration. Powers, 
mentioned as one of the settlers, was an Englishman and adhered to the 
royal cause. Being ordered to leave the settlement, he took his family 
to Canada, and returned and joined the tories under Brant. The settle- 
ment at Little Lakes, then known as Young's Settlement, was also a tory 
neighborhood, among the dwellers there being George House. On the 
1 8th of July, 1778, Powers and House guided Brant and his savage 
band to Andrustown, and there on a beautiful morning the wretches 
burned every building and killed many of the settlers, among these 
Mr. Bell and his son. Most of the men, women and children were 
either killed or taken prisoners, except the families of Crim, Hoyer and 
Osterhout, who escaped to the fort at Herkimer. Horses and cattle 
were driven off and the orchards leveled to the ground. A pursuing 
party was made up when the news reached Fort Herkimer, which went 

SoC History of herkimer county. 

down to bury the dead and punish the enemy. After burying the 
bodies found, they proceeded to the tory settlement at Little Lakes and 
destroyed it. Two of the sons of Frederick Lepper were absent at the 
time of the raid, and a part of the family of George Staring escaped. 
A young son of Mr. Bell was kept in Canada ten years and then re- 
turned. Descendants of several of these pioneers still live in the vicin- 
ity of the site of Andrustown. The centennial anniversary of this event 
was appropriately and successfully celebrated in July, 1878. Many 
prominent residents of Herkimer and adjoining counties were present 
at Jordanville, where a stage was erected in a grove. A procession 
was formed ; public speakers of note addressed the assemblage, among 
them being the late Samuel Earl, M. A. McKee, A. M. Mills, G. M. 
Cleland, and others. 

The second settlement in the present town of Warren made prior to 
the Revolution, was in 1765, when the families of Henry Eckler, his 
son of the same name, Jacob Haberman, Michael Snyder, and Andrew 
Young located at what is known as the Chyle, formerly called "Youngs- 
field." This settlement, to which had been added a few other families, 
was attacked by Brant and his followers in the fall of 1781, and the en- 
tire settlement was burned. Two of Mr. Eckler's sons were killed and 
scalped, and a third was carried away a prisoner. Henry Eckler held 
the office of captain in the Revolutionary army and performed heroic 
service. The old homestead has been handed down to his descendants 
to the present time.\ 

After the close of the Revolution, settlers began to come into the 
town from New England. Among them was Samuel Cleland, who 
came in 1786. He had been a quartermaster in the Revolution. His 
sons, who came with him, were Norman, Salmon, Martin, Moses, and 
Jonas. Hon. George M. Cleland, an ex- sheriff, was a son of Jonas. 
David Mixter came in early from Massachusetts, and Anthony Devoe 
came in 1798. Dr. Rufus Grain, one of the very early physicians in 
the town, came before 1798 and was a prominent citizen. He located 
at what is now Cuilen (formerly called Grain's Corners), where the 
homestead is still owned by his descendants. John Marshall came to 
the town in 1808 and settled near the Little Lakes; he lived to be 
ninety-eight years old. Other early settlers were Thomas C. Shoe- 


maker, David Belshaw, Ephraiiri Tisdale, Gurdon Lathrop, Abel Mill- 
ington, Samuel Bloomfield, Moses and Leonard Sliaul, John W. Tunni- 
cliff, James Maxfield, and others elsewhere mentioned. 

Morris Fikes was born in the town of Warren in 1846. He com- 
pleted his legal studies in the office of Judge Hardin at Little Falls, and 
after being admitted opened an office in Herkimer, where he died April 
16, 1874. He was a bright, promising young lawyer. His son Mau- 
rice maj. follow his father's footsteps in the profession. He is now be- 
ing educated at Syracuse University. 

The first town meeting in Warren was held at the house of Daniel 
Caswell, on the 5th of April, 1796, when the following officers were 
chosen : 

Supervisor, William B. Mix; town clerk, Samuel Ingham ; assessor.s, Timothy Frank, 
Joel Reynolds, Isaac Freeman, John Osterhout, and Caleb Woodward ; commissioners 
of highways, John Mills, Daniel Talcott, and Philip Cook; overseers of the poor, Jacob 
Petrie and Warren Mack ; school commissioners, Luke Warren, Nathaniel Ludington, 
and Benjamin Cary ; collectors, Oliver Warren and George Edick. 

Following is a list of supervisors of this town, with date of their in- 
cumbency : 

In 1796, William B. Mix; 1797, Francis Hawley ; 1798, 1799, 1803, 1805, 1806, John 
Mills; 1800, 1802, Philip Cook; 1801, Moses Wheeler; 1804. Hugh Pennel ; 1807, 
1808,1810, 1813, 1815, Bber Hyde; 1809, Samuel Woodworth; 1811, Dyer Green ; 
1812, Ephraim Tisdale; 1814, Peter P. Mesiok; 1810, Gurdon Lathrop; 1817, 1818, 
1832, 1833, Jonas Cleland ; 1819, 1822, Abel Milhngton ; 1823, Samuel Bloomfield; 
1824, Moses Shaul ; 1825-29, William C Grain; 1830-31, Charles Fox; 1834-35, 
1851-52, Leonard Shaul; 1836-37, Thomas Shoemaker; 1838, John W. Tunniclifi"; 
1839-40, William C. Grain ; 1841-42, James Maxfield; 1843, Marcus Lawyer; 1844, 
Lambert Sternberg; 1845-46, 1848, Jacob Marshall; 1847, Rufus G. Starkweather ; 
1849-50, Calvin Hulbert; 1853-54, Thomas C. Shoemaker; 1855-56, 1863, 1865, John 
M. Tredway ; 1857-58, Lawrence Harter; 1859-60, 1869, George M. Cleland ; 1861-62, 
1866-67, Eiisha W. Stannard; 1868. Christopher Shoemaker ; 1870-72, James Mason; 
1873, Jeffenson J. Tilden ; 1874, 1878-79, Palmer M. Wood; 1880, Elias Weatherbee ; 
1881-82, 1891-92. Rufus G. Starkweather; 1883, George H. Eastwood; 1884, Nathan- 
iel Farnham; 1885, James A. Hopkinson ; 1886-90, James W. Blatchley. 

As before stated, the streams in this town furnished in early years 
power to run numerous mills and small factories, all or nearly all of 
which have disappeared, and at the present time there is almost no 
manufacturing in the town. The first log house in the town was built 
by Paul Crim, in 1753, and the land has descended to A. J. Crim, its 


present owner. George Hoyer built the first frame house in 1789, on 
tlie premises now owned by James Bronner. One of the Osterhouts 
and Simeon J. Vrooman kept the first store at the Little Lakes in 1793. 
Stephen Ludington kept the first tavern. 

In early years the settlers were compelled to go to Fort Plain if they 
wanted grain ground In 1793 Isaac Freeman built two mills in the 
southern part of the town, on land now owned by Brayton W'ctherbee. 
Mr. Wetherbee is still living, and his sons, Elias and William, have a 
saw-mill, grist-mill and tannery at what is called Wetherbee's Mills. 
The father of Brayton Wetherbee formerly operated mills and a tan- 
nery at Cullen. The first saw- mill on Fish Creek was built in 1799 by 
Benjamin W'ilkerson. The first distillery was built by Frederick Ly- 
man and Gurdon Lathrop, between 18 10 and 181 5, about half a mile 
north of Jordanville. Roselle Lathrop built a brewery near by. 

Captain Charles Fox, of Connecticut, who came to Warren in 1805, 
is given the honor of making the first cheese in the county south of the 
Mohawk, beginning about 1815. He subsequently had a dairy of 100 
cows and was a prominent and successful man. 

Jordanville is the largest village in Warren and contains about 500 
inhabitants. It is situated near Fish Creek at the intersection of the 
old Minden turnpike and the State road from Utica to Richfield 
Springs The post office was established December 9, 1845, with 
Henry Bell as postmaster ; the other postmasters have been, Phineas 
P. Hyde, June i, 1849; Adam Miller, June 10, 1853; R. D. Wight- 
man, March 29, i86i ; C. C. Blatchley, August 3, 1865 ; George L. 
Bell, June, 1870; Dr. A. Miller, 1884; Charles E. Hyde, 1887; F. H. 
Bell, 1889. George L. Bell has been a merchant here since 1868. 
The grist-mill and saw- mill are now operated by Chauncey Browrfrigg 
and Andrew Crowell,who succeeded W. Chase ; the latter was burned out 
and rebtiilt the mills. John W. Brandow was formerly a wagon maker 
here, but started the American Hotel in 1885, and with the exception 
of two years has kept it since. George T. Yule is a wagon maker, and 
William Sibell and Charles J. Fisk are blacksmiths. 

Cullen (formerly Page's Corners) is a hamlet near the junction of the 
two branches of Fish Creek, not far from the center of the town. The 
post-office was established in December, 1845, with Nelson S eager as 


postmaster; he has been succeeded by John Lewis, C. M. Hustis, Rufus 
W. Grain, Jonas Petrie. The office was discontinued in October, 1859, 
and re established in December following, with Frederick Petrie as post- 
master, succeeded by John Lewis, and he by George M. House. The 
name was changed from Page's Gorners to Gulien in 1866; Vohiey 
Houghton was the next postmaster, followed by Charles Houghton, 
Clark Cole, Joseph R. Petrie, William Foster, Clark Cole, William Fos- 
ter, who is the present incumbent and keeps a store. Joseph Petrie 
keeps the hotel here. 

Little Lakes (Warren post-office) is a hamlet near the lakes, which 
give it the name. The post-office was established in October, 1840, 
with Robert Bush as postmaster ; he has been followed by Francis Gates, 
Amos Shaw, John W. Tunnicliff, William Kinne, Ferdinand Tunnicliff, 
William Kinne, Chester Grim, Thomas Ellis, jr., and Lester Eckler, the 
present incumbent. The hotel now kept by Lester Eckler was built 
very early and before the turnpike was constructed through the place. 
Mr. Eckler has kept this house six years, succeeding John J. Thorp, 
and owns the old homestead of the Ecklers. Merchants here have been 
D. A. Tunnicliff, Philp Eckler, J. J. Thorp and James Collyer. S. H. 
Conklin has sold goods here about six years. There was formerly more 
business done here than at the present time. 

There was in early years considerable business done at Grain's Cor- 
ners, including stores, a hotel, and several shops. A post office existed 
here from 1828 (when Jacob Marshall was postmaster) to 1857, when it 
was discontinued. A pretty little Episcopal church was erected here in 
1890, by D. J. Grain, and services are maintained. 

The early schools were taught in German as well as English. Stephen 
Frank was one of the first teachers in German at Andrustown, and 
Captain Henry Eckler taught at the Chyle in both German and 
English. Jonas Cleland taught the first English school subsequent to 
the Revolution. Warren now comprises eleven districts and the 
schools are efficient. Hon. William C. Grain, who was speaker of the 
Assembly in 1846, resided in this town, was courteous and bright, 
and an able politician. 

The Warren Baptist church was organized in 1799, and in the follow- 
ing year Phineas Holcomb was ordained as first pastor, and labored 


with the church seventeen years. For many years the society was es- 
pecially prosperous. In 1836 the building of a church was begun on 
land donated by Deacon Eber Hyde, at Jordanvilie, and the structure 
was dedicated in November of the following year. 
The following have served the church as pastors : 

George Swain, Isaac Newell, William A. Wells, Zelora Eaton. Asa Caldwell, Chailes 
E. Brown, Daniel Dye, L. J. Huntley, Lan.sing Bailey, Nel.-Jon Ferguson, Charles Bailey, 
L. Bolton, M. II. De Witt, L. B. Barker, Peter Goo, William Church, D. D. Odell, A. D. 
Smith, J. J. Pier.son, John L. Duncanson. Services are now held by Elder Lord, but 
the society has to some extent lost its identity as a Baptist organization. 

The first church edifice in the town was built near Bloomfields, by the 
Methodists in 1814. The next was the "Warren Union Church,"' near 
Grain's Corners, which was dedicated in 1816. This church has dis- 
appeared. There is a union church at Little Lakes, which was built 
about 1845. Rev. Mr. Helms, of Richfield, preaches there at the pres- 
ent time. 

The history of the Methodist Episcopal church of Jordanvilie dates 
back to 1846, when Rev. Moses Dunham, of the Litchfield circuit, 
formed a class of eight members. William Bouck was chiefly instru- 
mental in forwarding the project, and a lot was procured and the work 
begun. The church was dedicated in the fall of 1847. I" 1871, when 
the church had sixty-five members, and through the energetic work of 
G. M. Cleland and Isaac Lake, a new building was erected on the site 
of the old one and dedicated in June, 1872. 

The pastors who have served this church are Revs. Moses Dunham, W. C. Loomis, 
William Jerome, Mr. Crawford, E. L. Wadsvvorth, R. 0. Beebe, Samuel Hill, Mr. 
Barnes, L. K. Redington, W. A. Wadsworth. R. L. Kenyon, L. Eastwood, Gordon 
Moore, F. A. O'Farrel, Harvey Woodward, A. R. Warner, D. O. Edgarton, James Coote, 
W. F. Purington, H. R. Northrup, James Stanton, J. G. Brooks, Samuel Salisbury, S. 
P. Gray, and the present pastor, F. K. Pierce. The membership is about 100, and 
Dwight .Starkweather is Sunday-school superintendent. 





COLUMBIA lies in the southern part of Herkimer county and is 
bounded on the north by German Flats ; on the east by Warren ; 
on the south by Otsego county, and on the west by Winfield and Litch- 
field. The town was formed from Warren June 8, 1812. Its surface is 
moderately rolling and hilly, and the soil a clay loam, which is gen- 
erally fertile. The streams are small brooks, some of which flow 
south into the Unadilla and the others northward into the Mohawk. 
There are several springs in the town, the waters of which have a local 
reputation as a curative for some diseases. Irpn ore is found to a lim- 
ited extent. In the southern part of the town is a swamp containing 
perhaps a thousand acres, from which flow the headwaters of the Una- 
dilla. Steele's Creek flows from the northern side of the town into the 
Mohawk at Ilion. Within the present boundaries of Columbia are 
parts of Staley's, Henderson's and Conrad Frank's patents. 

The old Indian trail from the upper Mohawk to Schuyler's Lake 
passed through this town from northeast to southwest, and there was 
an Indian camp ground a little northwest of the site of South Columbia, 
on the farm now owned by J. H. Fox. 

Columbia was first settled in 1765 by several German families from 
the Mohawk River, who located in the eastern part at the crossing of 
the old Utica and Minden turnpike and the Mohawk and Richfield 
Springs road. The settlement was long known as Conradstown, and 
later as Orendorff''s Corners, after one of the settlers, Conrad Orendorff, 
whose original farm is still owned in the family by William Orendorff. 
The families who first settled here were those of Henry Frank, Nicholas 
Lighthall, Timothy Frank, Joseph Moyer, Frederick Christman, Con- 
rad Frank, Conrad Fulmer, Nicholas Lighthall, and Mr. Orendorff. 
Between the time of its first settlement and the close of the Revolution 
the town was overrun by the enemy, and the inhabitants made to feel 
the effects of the struggle. Conrad Orendorff was a lieutenant in Capt. 



Henry Eckler's company and was twice taken prisoner and his cabin 
burned. Richard Woolaber, one of the early settlers, was in Heinrich 
Staring's company which left Fort Herkimer July 19, 1778, to over- 
take Brant and rescue prisoners taken at the destruction of Andrus- 
town. At Young's Settlement (now Liftle Lakes) the main body of 
the pursuers turned back ; but Woolaber, Peter Flagg and Thomas Van 
Home kept on and overtook two savages on the west side of Schuyler's 
Lake. The Indians had a woman and babe as prisoners. Woolaber 
and his companions killed both Indians and carried home the prisoners. 
In the fall of 1778, while Woolaber was at work in the field on what is 
now " Shoemaker Hill," south of Fort Herkimer, he was surprised by 
Indians, knocked down and scalped and left for dead. He was found 
by his family towards nightfall, carried home and finally recovered. 

After the close of the war settlement in various parts of the town 
progressed rapidly. The following list of jurors for the year 18 13 is 
worthy of preservation, as it doubtless contains the names of most of 
the prominent settlers down to 1810: 

Asahel Alford, John Bloodgood, Jeremiah Brown, John Burchdorff, Philip Businger, 
Elias Benedict, Philip Brown, Christopher H. Benedict, Jacob Bell, Amos Crain, Josiah 
Ctain, William Chapman, John Clapsaddle, Augustenus Clapsaddle, Simon Clark. Henry 
Cronkright, Daniel DromdofF. Ira Dethrick, Jabez De Woolfe, William De Wolfe, jr., 
Jacob Eaton. Benjamin Eaton, Ephraim Elmer (still living at the age of 113 years 
at Utica, N. Y.), George M. Edick, Jacob P. Fox, John P. Fox, Peter P. Fox, Frederick 
Fox, Abner Gage, John Gorsline, Barnabas Griffith, Henry Getman, George I. Get- 
man, Frederick I. Getman, Stephen Griffith, Timothy Getman, Frederick Getman, jr., 
Conrad Gettman, Thomas Hagerty, Henry Helmer, Samuel Hatch, Joseph Hatch, 
Daniel Hatch, John Harwood, Abner Huntley, Thomas Hawks, Jacob Helmer, William 
Haner, Jeremiah Haner, Augustenus Hess, jr., Frederick Hess, Conrad Hess, Henry 
Jones, Calvin Johnson, Luther Johnson, Michael Jackson, Samuel Lord, Thomas Ladow, 
Caleb Miller, John Miller, Henry A. Miller, Henry Miller, jr., Oliver Miner, William 
Miller, Andrew Miller, John Miller, jr., Martin McKoon, Joel Merchant, Ephraim Mills, 
Isaac Mills, John Mills, Andrew Meyers, Joseph Meyers, John D. Meyers, James Mor- 
gan, Abraham Maning, Henry S. Orendorff, Jacob Orendorff, George Petrie, Theodore 
Page, Ira Peck, Dean Pearce, Daniel I. Petrie, Marks Petrie, Frederick Petrie, Reuben 
Reynolds, John Runyan, jr., Parley Spaulding, Ralph Sanford, Thomas F. Shoemaker, 
John Shoemaker, Nicholas Sternburgh, William Stroup, Timothy Smith, George Steele, 
Blisha Standish, Gershom Skinner, Peter I. Turpening, Moses Thompson, Hill Trues- 
dale, Samuel Woodworth, Festus Williams, Peleg Wood, Isaac Wright, Charles 

Most of the above have descendants at present living in town. 



Tunis Vrooman came early into this town. He was made a prisoner 
by the Indians, with three of his brothers, in 1776, and taken to Can- 
ada; returning a year later, he passed much of his life in Columbia 
and died in 1866. 

Asahel Alford settled here in 179 1, was a well-known citizen, and 
died in 1853 ^^ the age of ninety-three years, having passed all his life 
on his original farm ; this was afterwards occupied by his son Cyrus, 
and now by his son Oscar Alford. 

Abijah Beckwith, a native of Columbia county, came into this county 
in 1807 and became conspicuous in public affairs ; was a member of the 
Legislature in 1817 and 1823; a member of the Senate in 1835 ! was 
six years county clerk, and presidential elector in the first Lincoln 
campaign. He was the great-grandfather of John D. Beckwith, now a 
lawyer at Little Falls. 

George Lighthall was a settler prior to the Revolution on what is 
known as the Briggs farm, a little west of South Columbia, and he and 
his family were sufferers during the war. Some others who settled 
early in Columbia were Peter Horton Warren, who located in the west- 
ern part of the town; Martin McKoon, who came in 1796, to the ex- 
treme southern part; Jacob Edick and his father, also named Jacob, who 
were pioneers of the town ; Lorenzo Hosford and his father, William, 
who were tanners at Cedarville from early in the century ; Henry 
Devendorf, who settled early at Cedarville ; John D. Hunter, long a 
merchant in the town; Andrew Miller, who built the first mills at^ 
Miller's Mills ; Nicholas Spohn, Daniel Stroup, an early blacksmith, and 
Jacob Seckner. 

The first town meeting was held at the house of Daniel I. Petrie on 
Tuesday, March 2, 1813, and the following officers were elected: 

Supervisor, Jacob Haner ; town clerk, John Mix ; assessors, Denison Tisdale, Peter 
P. Fox, Jeremiah Haner, and Rufus Ohapin ; overseers of the poor, Daniel I. Petrie 
and Abijah Beckwith ; commissioners of highways, Henry Orendorff, Ira Peck and 
Joel Merchant; constables, Jacob D. Petrie, Charles Randale, Jeremiah Baringer, and 
William Truesdale; collector, Charles Randale; school commissioners, Rufus Chapin, 
John Bartlett, and Denison Tisdale ; school mspectors, Henry S. Orendorff, David V. 
W. Golden, and Henry Gardiner. 

The town was divided into thirty-one road districts, and the usual in- 
cipient legislation was enacted. A meeting of the excise commission- 


ers was held in May, 1813, at which D. V. W. Golden, Jesse Campbell, 
and Samuel Woodworth & Son had applied for permits to sell liquor, 
and Reuben Reynolds, Daniel I. Petrie, Joseph Petrie and Conrad 
Orendorfif applied for licenses and were given the privilege of keeping 

There is now scarcely any manufacturing in Columbia, and there 
never was very much. The industries outside of farming have been 
limited almost wholly to mills erected early in various parts of the 
town, some of which are still in operation, though greatly changed. D. 
V. W. Golden and Benjamin Mix were the first merchants in the town, 
and carried on business at Orendorfif 's Corners in 1798. The old store 
was demolished about twenty years ago, and the site is owned by 
Daniel Crim. Frederick Petrie, brother of Daniel, had a blacksmith 
shop at the same point in 1799, and was the first blacksmith in town. 
The first frame house was built at the Corners in 1788 by Con- 
rad Orendorff, and now forms part of the building occupied by Will- 
iam Orendorfif. The first and only brick house in Columbia was built 
in 1855 by Abraham House, at what is known as Elizabethtown, in the 
northern part of the town. 

The first schools in Columbia were taught in the German language, 
the earliest one by Philip Ausnian in 1796 at what is now Oren- 
dorfif's corners. The first English school was begun about the same 
time by Joel Phelps. On the 8th of April, 1813, the school com- 
missioners divided the town into eight school districts. There were 
then 255 families in the town and the commissioners designated which 
district each family should belong to. At the present time there 
are eleven districts in Columbia. 

There are no considerable villages in this town. Columbia Center 
was formerly known as " Petrie's Corners," and it was here that the 
first town meeting was held. As indicated by its name, it is near the 
center of the town, and here Daniel I. Petrie kept the first tavern on the 
site where Abram Jacobson formerly kept. Jacob J. Petrie, son of 
Daniel, formerly kept a store where Elmer E. Spohn is now located. 
John D. Hunter also traded on this site. Martin L. Springer and Ira 
Derthick were also merchants here. There was a distillery operated 
here in early times. The present business consists of two stores, one 


by Frank N. Petrie and one by E. E. Spohn, a hotel kept by Wallace 
Purchase, on the old Petrie site, a store and post-office kept by Frank N. 
Petrie, and two blacksmith shops by David Getman and Jabez Bliss 
& Son. The Methodist church here was organized in 1887 and the 
building was erected in 1888 at a cost of about $2,000. The first 
pastor was Rev. Frank West and the present one is G. P. York. The 
trustees are Israel Shepherd, George Gray and H. J. Chrisman. 

South Cohinibia. — This is a station on the railroad in the southern 
part of the town and on the old road from Mohawk to Richfield Springs. 
It was in this vicinity that the Lighthall families settled prior to the 
Revolution, and Richard Woolaber was the first settler after the war. 
Asaliel Freeman built here the second grist mill in the town, and in 
1800 a saw-mill and a fulling-mill; the latter went to decay long 
ago. The first hotel was kept here in 1808 by Simeon Hammond. 
The site of the old mills is now occupied by the extensive plant of the 
Chase Mills and Supply Company, who operate a saw-mill, grist mill, 
planing-mill, deal in coal, lumber, etc. A box factory is operated by 
James Collyer, and a second saw- mill by Eugene Hoffman. Philip 
Wormouth is a blacksmith and wagon repairer, and Frank ZoUeris mer- 
chant and postmaster. 

Miller's Mills. — This is a hamlet in the southwestern part of the 
town, half a mile from the line of the railroad, on which it has a sta- 
tion. The site was settled in 1760 by Andrew Miller. Jost Bell was 
the owner of much of the land in the vicinity and from him Miller leased 
and purchased his property. Jonas Miller now occupies a part of the 
original farm of Andrew Miller. Miller, probably in connection with 
Bell, built the first mills here, on the site of W. D. Gorsline's present 
mills; this property passed into possession of John Miller and was 
enlarged by him. Other owners of the mills, before they came into , 
Mr. Gorsline's possession, were a Mr. Tennant, Jacob Miller, and Dan- 
iel Devendorf Mr. Gorsline put in a circular saw and added a box 
factory and planing mill to the plant. The post-office was established 
in 1869 with Tunis Finger as postmaster; he was succeeded by An- 
drew Finger. J. R. Scudden was next appointed to the office, and 
then William H. Finger. Andrew Finger is the present postmaster 
and merchant. The " First Free Baptist Church in Columbia " was 


organized here in September, 1820, and the church was erected in 183 i. 
Public services have been kept up with considerable regularity since 
1814. In 1840 a Sunday-school was established with David G. Young 
as superintendent. Elder J. B. Randall is the present pastor. Rev 
M. C. Brown preached here for seventeen years ; he died recently in 

Cedarville. — This is a hamlet in the western part of the town and at the 
junction of the lines of the three towns of Winfield, Litchfield and 
Columbia. While a considerable portion of the little village is in Litch- 
field, the post-office is now in the town of Columbia, and the historj^ of 
the village may as well be given here. The first settler at this point 
was Henrj' Devendorf, who came in 1803. The first store was estab- 
lished in 1823 by John and Thurston Mabbitt, and in the same year the 
post-office was opened. Henry Devendorf kept the first tavern about 
1 8 10. The tannery that was conducted here for many years was be- 
gun by William Horsford in 1824, who operated it for thirty years. 
Its last owners were Hon. Ezra D. Beckwith and Hiteman Brothers, 
who gave it up about eight years ago and located at West Winfield ; the 
tannery is now going to decay. The hotel now kept by J. J. Thorp 
was built by A. L. Fisji about the time of the establishment of the 
post office. F. E. Stephens now has the principal store and is post- 
master and supervisor, succeeding D. L. W. Kibby in the former ofifice 
in June, 1889. Mr. Kibby kept a store here about twenty years. The 
second hotel is kept, and has been for twelve years, by Monroe Wilkin- 
son. The store now kept by H. G. Knight was occupied before him by 
Irving Maxwell and Benjamin Davis. Lyman Woodart wa,s a wagon- 
maker here for many years, and his sons now carry on the business. 
W. E. Meacham has a harness shop and W. H. Rhoda a tin shop. 

The Methodist Episcopal church at Cedarville was organized in 1862, 
under the corporate name of the McKenzie Chapel. The deed of a lot 
was given by Henry Devendorf on which to build a chapel. The first 
church was erected about 1826, at a cost of $1,500. The society be- 
came extinct, and in 1870 the building was removed and fitted for a 
public hall. 

The Universalist church at Cedarville was organized October 27, 
1829, and Rev. Orrin Roberts became the first pastor in 1830. Among 


those who have at various periods preached here are Revs. T. J. Smith, 
Mr. Belden, Dr. Smith, J. H. Tuttle, E. M. Wooley, L. C. Brown, 
Mr. Paine, W. H. Grigsby, D. Ballon, L Rice, L. G. Powers, and O. B. 
Beals. The present pastor is Rev. C. H. Vail, who preaches also at 
Bridgewater. The first church edifice was erected in 1830 at a cost of 
$2,500; it was dedicated in the following year. In 1872 the building 
was remodeled at an expense of more than $5,000, and an organ cost- 
ing $1,000 has since been added. The society has been uniformly 
prosperous and shown energetic activity from its beginning. 

Trustees are elected for one, two, and three years. Tlieir names are as follow : 
For one year, F. B. Stephens, D. A. Angell, and A. E. Seckner; for two years, Chauncey 
Mathews, Jacob W. Miller, and Bernard Crim ; for three years, C. J. Wheeler, E. B. 
Holcomb, and William Miller. 

Other hamlets that have had distinctive names in Columbia are Get- 
man's Corners, at the headwaters of Steele's Creek, on the north side of 
the town. Elizabethtown, taking its name from Elizabeth Campbell, 
on the north line of the town, on Steele's Creek, where a tannery was 
formerly carried on ; and Haner Settlement, so called from the families 
of that name who located there. Spinnerville, named in honor of the 
late Gen. F. E. Spinner, is a post-office in the northern part, established 
in 1890. A tannery was operated here for many years by Peter H, 
Warren, father of T. D. Warren, esq., and the wife of Col. Alonzo 
Wood, of Winfield. It is now closed up. S. D. Warren now owns 
the homestead and is the postmaster. 

The oldest church in this town is the Reformed Church, which was 
organized in July, 1798. Timothy Frank and Jacob Petrie were made 
elders, and George Edick and George F. Helmer, deacons. The first 
meetings were held in Conrad Orendorff' s barn. Steps were taken in 
1803 to erect a church, the First Congregational church of Warren 
and the First Lutheran church of Warren uniting in the work. A sub- 
scription paper was circulated and money raised for a beginning. In 
November, 1808, the three societies assembled at the meeting-house to 
arrange for raising money to finish the interior of the building. 
Through subscriptions and the sale of pews in December, 1808, the 
necessary funds were raised and the church finished by Parley Hutch- 
ings. This church was used until 1849, when it was considered unsafe 


and a new one was erected, which has received extensive repairs. It is 
pleasantly located on the east and west, road between Columbia Center 
and Orendorfif 's Corners, with a cemetery adjoining. In the rebuilding 
of this church in 1840 a scaffold gave way and John Edick was killed 
and several others badly injured. 

Following is a list of supervisors of this town, with date of their in- 

Jacob Haner, 1813, 1822 ; Samuel Woodworth, 1814; John Mills, 1815, 1821; Hen- 
ry S. Orendorff, 181C, 1817; Abijah Beckwith, 1818, 1819; Henry S. OrendorfF, 1820, 
1831, 1837, 1842; Jeremiah Haner, 1823, 1824, 1827; Abijah Beckwith, 1825, 1845, 
1846; Jacob Mills, 1826; Isaac Mills, 1828; John Miller, jr., 1829, 1834, 1835; Abel 
Hannahs, 1830, 1832, 1833; Peter H. Warren, 1836, 1838, 1839, 1863-65; Joseph L. 
Hatch, 1840, 1841; William J. Miller, 1843, 1844; Andrew Van Dusen, 1847, 1848; 
Loren Mills, 1849, 1850; John W. Beckwith, 1S51-52; John D. Clapsaddle, 1853, 
1859-60; Jefferson Rowland, 1854, 1856; James Kelley, 1857, 1858; David G. Young, 
1861-62; Levi Shaul, 1866-67; David Harter, 1868; Lorenzo Horsford, 1869; Jacob 
J. Getman, 1870-72 ; John M. Lipe, 1873, 1874 ; George Van Alstine, 1875-78 ; Will- 
iam D. Gorsline, 1879, 1880; Samuel Miller, 1?81 ; Israel I. Young, 1882, 1883; Frank 
N. Petrie, 1884-1889; Damon A. Clapsaddle, 1890; Abram Manning, 1891; Frank E. 
Stephens, 1892. 



PREVIOUS to the year 18 16 the territory now embraced in the town 
of Winfield was a part of the towns of Richfield and Plainfield, Otse- 
go county, and Litchfield, Herkimer county. Consequently, upon its for- 
mation the boundaries of Herkimer county were enlarged. The act 
under which the town came into existence is dated April 17, 18 16, and 
its passage in the Senate was procured by Dr. John J. Prendergast, then 
a member of that body. He had the privilege of naming the new town 
and proposed " Scott," in honor of Gen. Winfield Scott ; but on learn- 
ing that there was already a town of that name in this State, he sub- 
stituted the given name of the popular military officer — Winfield. 

The town lies in the southwest corner of Herkimer county and in- 
cludes parts of Schuyler's Bayard's and Lispenard's patents. It is 


bounded on the north by Litchfield ; on the east by Columbia and Ot- 
sego county ; on the south by Otsego county ; and on the west by 
Oneida county. The surface is moderately hilly except along the valley 
of the Unadilla Creek, which flows across it from east to west, furnishing 
considerable water power. Some smaller streams flow southerly into 
the Unadilla, which have their rise in Litchfield. The great western 
turnpike passes through the southern part of the town, and in early days 
was thronged with stages, teams and droves of stock, which made busy 
scenes at the numerous taverns that were maintained at short intervals 
along its course. 

The early settlers of what is now Winfield came chiefly from Con- 
necticut and Massachusetts. Abel Brace came here in 1793 from near 
Hartford, Conn., bringing with him his family of nine sons and five 
daughters, with his wife's aged mother. Mr. Brace was a man of stand- 
ing, had been a captain in the Revolutionary War and a member of the 
State Legislature. He built a log house not far from the present resi- 
dence of his youngest great-grandson, Seward H. Brace. All of the 
sons excepting one settled in this town and not far from their father. 
Abel Brace died in 1832. In after years many of his descendants left 
the town, leaving only Capt. Asahel Brace, who occupied the pa- 
ternal home; he died in 1867, leaving sons, Abel Woodruff Brace, 
Lucius F. Brace (father of Frank L.), and Henry L. Brace, who inherited 
the family home and now lives in West Winfield. When Mr. Brace 
came here there was no road from the Mohawk southward, and travelers 
were guided by marked trees. One of the Brace family, Charles, kept 
what was probably the first inn in the town in 1794, but it is not known 
just where it was located ; and two years later John Dillingham opened 
a store. 

In the summer of 1792 David Wood and Jonathan Chapin settled on 
the south side of the stream, and in 1793 Deacon Charles Burt and 
Joseph and Timothy Walker located in the same neighborhood. The 
Walkers had been in the town only a year when, in 1794, they built the 
pioneer mills at what is now West Winfield, and thereby conferred a 
welcome boon upon the settlers. It was a small affair, consisting of a 
saw-mill, in which was placed one grinding stone, which sufficed for its 
purpose until 1798, when Timothy Walker erected a grist-mill near the 


first one, taking the water from the same pond. This mill was operated 
until 1808, when Ira Walker, son of Timothy, built a third mill, a larger 
one, farther down the stream and removed the machinery of the other 
one to it. This was the site of the present mills at West Winfield. 
The Walkers first settled on what is known as the Hugh Davis farm. 
Both had families, and descendants of both still live in the town. The 
first mill built by them was near North Winfield and the first blacksmith- 
shop was near that place, and built by Tim(ithy. 

Larkin Smith first came to the town in 1793 and probably returned 
and brought his wife in the following, year, coming on snow shoes. He 
was a surveyor. Others who settled here previous to or about the be- 
ginning of the century were Simeon Bucklin, Elijah Gates, Amasa Dodge, 
Adam Burdick, Capt. Nathan Brown, Oliver Harwood, Oliver Corbit, 
Benjamin Cole, Isaac Thayer, Nathan Holmes, William McLaughlin, 
and others. Many of these still have dsecendants in the town. A 
little later came the Prays, the Lawtons, the Hatfields and 
others. John Burgess was an early settler. Moses Eldred, father 
of Myron, came about 1805. Caleb Cummings, father of Samuel M., 
came from New Hampshire before the beginning of this century ; Sam- 
uel owns the old homestead and lives in West Winfield. Nathan Mor- 
gan settled about 1815. Eleazer Brown, grandfather of H. C. Brown, 
of West Winfield, came about the beginning of the century; his son, 
Hiram, was born here in 1805, and died in 1878. C. T. Wheelock's 
grandfather was an early settler on " Wheelock's Hill." Some of those 
who have been prominent in the town in later years are Benjamin Car- 
ver, who was a merchant at East Winfield, and supervisor in 1833 ; Col. 
David R. Carrier, many years supervisor and a prominent business man ; 
Samuel McKee, now living at East Winfield, father of Hon. M. H. Mc- 
Kee, of Richfield Springs; Caleb Dodge, a prominent farmer; Otis N. 
Crandall ; Walter Palmer, and others mentioned elsewhere. 

Chas. H. Brown was born in Winfield, July 20, 1858, studied law in 
Little Falls and was admitted in 1880. He removed to Bolivar, Alle- 
gany county, N. Y., in 1881, and was elected district attorney of that 
county in 1889, and re-elected in 1892. He occupies a leading position 
at the bar in that county. 

Chas. G. Burrows was born in Winfield, and studied law with Geo. 
A. Hardia in Little Falls. He died in 1875, leaving a reputation as an 


industrious and painstaking attorney, who gained the confidence of the 

Hamilton Burdick, a native of Winfield, and a son of Adam Burdick, 
was born February ii, 1816. His father was a Revolutionary soldier 
and a personal acquaintance of Alexander Hamilton, after whom he 
named his son. Hamilton Burdick is a graduate of Colgate and studied 
law at Bridgevvater, Oneida county, N. Y., and in Utica. He practiced 
in West Winfield from 1840 to 1843, when he removed to Syracuse and 
formed a partnership with the late R. H. Gardner. Mr. Burdick is still 
in practice in Syracuse. Professor Samuel Williams was born in 1830 
in this town, and is now a geologist at Cornell University. 

Charles J. Palmer, now a prominent attorney of Little Falls, was born 
in Winfield. While a student in Hamilton College he pursued the study 
of law, and after graduating in 1871 gave his whole attention to his 
profession, studying in Utica. In 1872 he formed a partnership with 
Chas. G. Burrows (above mentioned) which continued until Mr. Burrows 
died in 1875. In the next year Mr. Palmer became associated with A. 
M. Mills in Little Falls, and so continued to 1 889, since which year he has 
practiced alone. Mr. Palmer is prominent in Republican politics. 

Kendrick E. Morgan was born in the town of Winfield, September 8, 
1854, and was admitted to practice law in 1876 and continued from that 
date to practice his profession at Little Falls until July 3, 1888. He is 
now engaged in business in Chicago, 111. 

The first town meeting in Winfield was held at the house of Rufus 
Dodge on the 7th of June, 18 16. It is said that the snow was several 
inches deep on that day ; it was the remarkable cold season which is 
still remembered by old citizens. At that meeting the following officers 
were elected : 

James Orton, supervisor ; Martin Luce, town clerk; Nathan Brown, Charles Burt, 
and Hezekiah Leamans, assessors; David Wood and Richard Bonfoy, overseers of the 
poor; Simeon Buclvlin, Asahel Brace, and Nathaniel Crandal, commissioners of high- 
ways; Elisha Gates, Elijah Gates, jr., and Jesse Burgess, constables; Elisha Gates, 
collector ; Charles Burt, Charles Brace, and Almond Luce, school commissioners. 

The usual regulations were voted at the meeting, governing the run- 
ning at large of stock, licenses, etc. The following reference to slavery 
bearing a comparatively recent date, is worthy of preservation here : 


This may certify that Pegg, alias Margaret, a female servant born of a slave, appears 
to be of the age of eighteen years and upwards, that is to say of the age of twenty-one 
years, and of svifficient ability to maintain herself; hath this day been abandoned by 
James Orton, who hath claimed her services and doth hereby relinquish them. 

Anson Backus, Xatuan Brown, Overseers of Poor. 

The surprising part of this document is the date, which is in the year 
1826. Further account of Anson Backus is given a little further on. 

Under the enterprising and industrious labors of its settlers, Winfield 
rapidly became a prosperous and progressive community. The first 
settlers obtained their few necessaries from Fort Herkimer over what 
was known as the Carr path, through the woods ; but early in the cent- 
ury (1805) the Cherry Valley turnpike was built and connection made 
with it by other roads, giving the farmers and merchants comparatively 
easy communication with Albany and other points. Sheep raising, 
with the manufacture of potash, distilling liquor, etc., occupied the chief 
attention of the people of the town for some years; but between 1845, 
the time when the wool industry was at its height and when there were 
nearly 16,000 sheep in the town, and 1865 when there were' less than 
700, the dairy industry rapidly increased, and before the year last 
mentioned had become the principal occupation of the farmers of the 
town. At one time there were eleven cheese factories in the town. 
This number was gradually decreased by consolidation mainly, and at 
the present time there are only three or four ; although there are many 
near by the town lines at various points, which are patronized by Win- 
field farmers. C. T. Wheelock is proprietor of five factories, and C. 
A. Eggleston has no less than twelve under his control ; most of these 
are outside of this town. Within a few years past several milk stations 
have been established on the line of the D. L. & W. Railroad (which 
was opened in 1870), and dairymen are taking large quantities of milk 
to them for shipment to New York. This practice is having an impor- 
tant bearing upon the cheese and butter industry here ; but it is the 
the general opinion that this direct sale of milk will, on the whole, be 
beneficial. As compared with most other towns of the county, Win- 
field ranks among the best as a dairy town. 

The Winfield Agricultural Society was organized in 1856, and included 
in its jurisdiction seven towns in this and Otsego and Oneida counties. 
For manj- years its fairs were very successful and it was the means of 


advancing the welfare of the agricultural operations of this locality. 
After some twenty- five years of usefulness its affairs have been suf- 
fered to stagnate. 

IVesi Winfield. — This thriving little village of about 600 population 
is situated in the western part of the town, on the Unadilla Creek and 
the Richfield Springs branch of the D. L. & W. Railroad, and the old 
turnpike passes through it. Here small business operations were begun 
early in the present century, including the Walker mills, and later a 
store, shops, etc. In 1822 a store on the northwest corner at the inter- 
section of the streets was erected and there, in 1S23, Col. David R. 
Carrier began his long and successful business career. He dealt in all 
kinds of produce, shipping largely to Albany and New York, and for 
many years was one of the leading merchants of the county and also 
president of the First National Bank. The post-office was established 
in 1825, with Colonel Carrier as postmaster. The money received for 
postage during the first three months was about $5.00. In those early 
years there was a great deal more business done at East Winfield than 
here. On the corner where is now the store of O. H. Wilcox, a tavern 
was built very early, but it was burned while under the proprietorship 
of John K. Fuller. The present structure on that corner was erected 
by Russell Huntley. On the opposite corner where is now the Hag- 
gerty House, a tavern has been kept by various landlords since early 
in the history of the place. Benjamin Harrington built, not far from 
the year 1800, a fulling and carding-mill and put in the necessary ma- 
chinery ; this was operated for many years, but has disappeared with 
many other similar mills in various parts of the county, following the 
decline of sheep raising and domestic wool production. About the 
year 1820 a small tannery was erected here. The bark used was ground 
by horse-power. In 1823 it came into possession of Rufus Wheeler, 
father of C. J. Wheeler, and later passed to the latter, who owned it to 
1884. In 1884 E. D. Beckwith and John and Henry Hiteman, who 
had been carrying on a tannery at Cedarville, gave up their business 
there and purchased the Winfield tannery. They were experienced 
tanners and energetic and industrious men, and from an output of 600 
calfskins per week have increased to 1800. Their plant has been cor- 
respondingly enlarged, in the years 1886, 1887, and 1888. From forty- 


five to fifty hands are employed and the excellence of their product has 
given it a wide-spread market, whicli they are now unable to fill. Their 
bark is brought from Pennsylvania. 

The saw-mill, which has been already noticed, was in possession of 
Griffin & Armstrong in 1872, when A. C, Hackley, its present owner, 
purchased it. Griffin & Armstrong had supplied the mill with a circular 
saw, planer, etc. Mr. Hackley has added the manufacture of cheese 
boxes, heads and hoops, and the sale of lumber to the business. The 
mill was formerly owned by Fhineas Hall, Chauncey Bentley and vari- 
ous others. 

The grist-mill is now the property of the Hiram Brown estate, and 
is operated by his son, H. C. Brown. Hiram Brown bought it of Bent- 
ley & Lackey in 1874. When the present operator took it he rebuilt 
the machinery, and fitted it for a large flouring trade, but at present 
only custom grinding is done. 

Charles Weeks started a manufactory of sash, doors and blinds and a 
lumber yard in 1857, which he continued until 1870, when George S. 
Weeks purchased the business and still conducts it on a greatly enlarged 
basis. These constitute the manufacturing interests of the place. 

A meeting was held in the village for the organization of a bank on 
the i6th of February, 1854. The organization was perfected and the 
corporate name of " West Winfield Bank " chosen ; the capital stock 
was fixed at $100,000 and the following directors were chosen : David 
R. Carrier, Vose Palmer, Dennis Hardin, Curtis Hemingway, James M. 
Rose, Samuel McKee, Joseph Hardin, Henry H. Babcock, Hiram 
Brown, N. R. Brown, Harry G. Hardin, T. W. Morgan and Isaac L. 
Moors. On the same day Colonel David R. Carrier was elected presi- 
dent and Hiram Brown vice-president, and on the 27th of February, 
Curtis Hemingway was chosen cashier and Erastus D. Hardin was ap- 
pointed teller and acted as such until 1857, when he became a banker 
in Peoria, 111., where he still resides. The bank opened for business 
August 29, of that year. It was changed to a national bank, with the 
same amount of capital, on the 14th of February, 1865, with the follow- 
ing directors : 

David R. Carrier, Palmer, James M. Rose, Samuel McKee, Joseph Hardin, 
Hiram Brown, T. W. Morgan, I. L. Moors, Alonzo Wood, E. P. Rose, Erastus Kii'g, 
David Gardner and Rufus Wheeler. Mr. Carrier remained president until his death ia 


1880, when Alonzo Wood was elected and now efficiently fills the office. The vice- 
presidents have been Hiram Brown to February 10, 1859; H. H. Babcock to February 
12, 1863; James M. Rose to January 10, 1871; Samuel McKee to Januarys, 1878; 
Myron A. McKee to January 9, 1883; Charles D. Wheeler to the present lime. The 
cashiers have been Curtis Hemingway to May 10, 185G; Alonzo Wood to March 1, 
1858; James P. Lee to April 3, 1809 ; John 0. Wheeler to the present time. Follow- 
ing are the names of the present directors : T. W. Morgan, Alonzo Wood, John 0. 
Wheeler, George A. Hardin, Myron A. McKee, H. H. Wheeler, and Charles D. 

The principal merchants of West Winfield are O. H. Wilcox, J. D. 
Folts, I. A. Crandall, Edward McFarland and George Bell, who keep 
general goods ; B. S. Davis, grocer and baker ; D. S. Marshall, boots 
and shoes ; Patterson & Eldredge, hardware ; Frank H. Wilcox, furni- 
ture ; H. H. Wilcox, drugs; Casler & Edick, grocers; George A. 
Walker, jeweler. The Cottage Hotel was opened by J. K. Armling, 
in January, 1892, and the other hotel is kept by Mrs. Alonzo Haggerty. 
Albert B. Crumb is postmaster and has an insurance business. 

The West Winfield Water Works were established as a private enter- 
prise in 1S78, the water being pumped from six artesian wells It is of 
great benefit to the village, and is liberally patronized. The proprie- 
tor is Eev. W. A. Fenn. 

The schools of the town of Winfield are taught in eleven districts. 
The first school in the town was probably taught by Josiah Harwood. 
On the 14th of August, 1817, a j^ear after the erection of the town, 
Charles Burt, Larkin Smith and Dr. Abner N. Clark, as school com- 
missioners, met and divided tlie town into twelve districts. There has 
been very little change in the district lines since that time. 

Previous to the year 1850 land was donated in the village for an 
academy site, by Colonel David R. Carrier, consisting of one acre on a 
sightly hill. The academy was established in 1850, with Prof L. R. 
Bliss as principal. Prof Bliss, who was a graduate of Hamilton College, 
was very active in raising the necessary funds for the institution, and 
the building was erected in the summer of 1850. The original building 
was 60x40 feet in size, and in 1856 an addition 32 x 36 feet was made, 
for a boarding hall and principal's residence. The academy was a suc- 
cessful institution ; was provided with chemical and philosophical 
apparatus and a considerable library. In the year 1883 it was changed 


to a Union Free School, as a part of the school system of the town. 
The principals, after Prof. Bliss, have been W. W. Bass, G. R. Aiken, 
D. M. Haggart, E. O. Hovey, D. T. Blackstone, A. R. Goodwin, T. W. 
Roberts, S. D. Allen, James B. McGifford, F. J. House, who taught 
nine years, and was succeeded by A. J. Merrell in 1892. The number 
of teachers is seven and the attendance nearly 300. 

Newspapers. — West Win field had a newspaper as early as 1859, when 
on the 23d of August appeared the first number of the Standard Bearer 
under the management of Cornelius Ackerman. The paper passed 
through many vicissitudes and changes. In 1870 it was sold to William 
McLaughlin, and he transferred it within a year to John H. Cunningham. 
The latter changed its name to the Winfield Standard, and on the 23d 
of March, 1872, sold it to Miles A. Davis, who left in a few months and 
the establishment reverted to Mr. McLaughlin, who sold it to R. W. 
Ackerman, son of the first publisher. In May, 1874, H. D. Kellogg 
became a partner, but retired in eight months. In March, 1875, Will- 
iam R. Merrill purchased the property, and about a year later trans- 
ferred it to Frank Spooner, who conducted it about a year and removed 

it to Brookfield. On the 1st of April, 1883, Lansing started 

the West Winfield News. About a year later it passed to the posses- 
sion of C. D. Wheeler, who afterwards associated with himself H. H. 
Wheeler. Stillman & Fitch bought the paper in 1888, and on the 15th 
of April, 1889, Clarence G. Fitch bought out Stillman's interest and 
now conducts the paper. 

The West Winfield Star is a handsome newspaper, which was started 
from a new and complete plant on the i8th of August, 1892, by F. L. 
Brace. It is Republican in politics, and promises to be a permanent 

Church History. — The Congregational Church at West Winfield was 
organized in 1799 as the Second Congregational Church of Litchfield, 
by Rev. Eliphalet Steele. It was then located about four miles north 
of the present village, and in 1816 was removed to the turnpike about a 
mile east of the village. In 1876 the building was taken down and 
again removed to its present site in the village, and rebuilt and enlarged 
at a cost of $1 1,000. The Sunday-school was organized in 18 18. The 
first regular pastor was Rev. Jesse Churchill, and he has been succeeded 
by the following : 


Revs. Jonathan Hovey, D. Newell, Edward Everett, Chauncey Goodrich, Chester 
Holcomb, Chester Brewster, P. S. Pratt, H. B. Wait, M. B. Brown, Wm. J. Knox, C. 
H. Beebe, Jesse Bradnack. In 1872 and 1873 the church was supplied by the Auburn 
Theological school. In 1873 came Rev. L. W. Church; then Rev. 0. A. Kingsbury 
who came in 1885. A. E. Kinmouth closed a three years' pastorate in April, 1889, and 
was succeeded by Rev. E. A. Burt. 

In 1890 about $3,500 were spent on the interior of the church and 
the purchase of an organ. The present church officers are as follow : 

Deacons, H L. Brace, A. A. Leach, Geo. A. Bonfoy ; trustees, A. A. Leach, P. H. 
Brown, H. Nichols, E. H. Davis, A. C. Day, M. A. Spicer. F. L. Brace, clerk and su- 
perintendent of Sunday-school. The membership is 141. 

The West Winfield Baptist church was first organized in 1796 as the 
Second Baptist Church of Litchfield. In 1803 it received the name of 
the Guild Society, in honor of Deacon Oliver Guild, who contributed 
liberally to its support. In 1828 it was reorganized under the name of 
the West Winfield Guild Society, which name it bore until 1880, when 
it was changed to the First Baptist Church of West Winfield. The 
first church building was erected in 1803, about a mile north of the 
present village of West Winfield. In 1826 the society purchased their 
present eligible site in the village, and removed and rebuilt their church 
at a cost of about $1,400. In 1857 $1,800 were expended on the build- 
ing, and in 1863 it was enlarged at a cost of $1,000. In 1877 ^ ses- 
sion room and audience room were fitted up at a further cost of $1,000. 
In 1 86 1 a parsonage was built at a cost of $1,900. This church was 
burned on the 9th of May, 1889, and services were held temporarily in 
the Congregational church and in the academy. Immediate steps were 
taken to rebuild, and the following committee was appointed for that 
purpose: J. B. Murray, chairman; Dr. J. M. Rose, C. J. Wheeler, T. 
W. Morgan, J. E. Davis, W. H. Parkhurst, E. P. McFarland. Plans 
were secured and the present beautiful and substantial brick edifice was 
erected, the dedication ceremonies occurring on the 8th and 9th of Oc- 
tober, 1890. Several costly memorial windows were presented to the 
new church, and many liberal subscriptions made for its construction. 
The church cost about $23,000. 

The pastors previous to 1826 were Elder.s Vining, Simmons, Philleo, and Holmes. 
From 1826 the pastors, as far as known, were Elders Clay, Newell, Putnam, Rasco, 
Ferguson. Nelson, and Tremaine. From 1843 to 1847, Rev. A. Kingsbury. During 


the next several years Revs. Alden, Watkins, and Pixley served the society. From 
18.59 to 1866, Rev. H. A. Smith preached; 18G6 to 1869, Rev. T. N. Hobart; 1869 to 
1872, .supplies by Madison University students; 1872 to 1876, Rev. H. Garlick ; part of 
1876, Rev. A. Reynolds; 1876 to 1878, Rev. S. C. Moore; 1878 to 1883, Rev. Wm. A. 
Fenn; 1883, one year, Rev. P. D. Root; supplied by Mr. Fenn to July, 1885; then 
Rev. Thomas E. Jepson to close of 1887; from the spring of 1888. Rev. Warren 
Saphore, to 1891 ; he was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. D. Kendall Smith. 

The Sunday-school was organized in 1826. The present churcli 
trustees are James B. Murray, George S. Weeks, Charles J. Wheeler; 
Sunday-school superintendent, O. B. Holmes. The membership is about 

The Methodist Church of West Winfield was organized in the year 
1827, and the first meeting place was in the school-house. In 1828 the 
first church was built at a cost of $1,200. In 1855 $1,500 were ex- 
pended in repairs, and in 1865 the church was burned. The present 
edifice was erected in 1866, and cost $9,000. The parsonage is valued 
at $3,000. 

The first pastor was Rev. Ephraim Hall, and he has been followed by Revs. John Er- 
canbrack, Wm. Bowdish, Wm. Round, Edwin Dennison, Breckenridge, Lewis An- 
derson, Loorais, B. W. Goram, J. D. Torry, H. Tremaine, W. Jerome, H. J. Rand, 

3. L. Wells, G. 0. Elliott, G. Colgrove, W. E. York, J. W. Hall, W. N. Burr, J. Pilkin- 
ton, W. B. McDonald, C. Morgan, Gordon Moore, W. S. Titus, J. B. Darling, C. W. 
Brooks, B. W. Jones, S. P. Gray, A. C. Loucks, S. T. Dibble, William Williams, W. L. 
Tisdale, and the present pastor, Wm. H. Bury. The member.ship is 105. 

St. Joseph's Church (Catholic) was organized in May, 1867, by Rev. 
Father T. J. Smith. During about eight years they worshiped in a 
public hall. In June, 1874, the corner-stone of a new church was laid 
and the building was finished in September, 1875 ; its cost was $8,000. 
Father Smith was pastor until 1874, and was succeeded by Father E. 
F. O'Connor, who continued until 1884. Then came Father M. C. 
Gavin, who remained to 1892, and was succeeded by Father Dennis B. 
Collins. Father Gavin purchased the Dr. Spencer residence for a par- 
sonage and it burned in 1889. It is now being rebuilt. The church 
contains about eighty-five families. 

Eas( Winfield — Is a post-office and small hamlet about two miles east 
of West Winfield, on the turnpike. In the old days of staging it was a 
busy point, but now it contains only one store kept by Milton West, 
who is also postmaster. Curtis Day owns the saw-mill and carries on 
an extensive cider-mill in connection with it. 


Here the late Benjamin Carver carried on a mercantile business for 
many years ; he was the father of Mrs. Leiter, whose husband is of the 
great mercantile firm of Field, Leiter & Co. of Chicago. Here resided 
the late Dean Burgess, who removed to Herkimer and was for many 
years prominent and wealthy. He was president of the Mohawk 
National Bank. Here was the home of George Thomas, a, merch- 
ant and prominent abolitionist, who removed to Utica a few years before 
his death. Samuel McKee, father of Hon. M. H. McKee, cashier of 
the Richfield Springs Bank, still resides here. Dr. Abner Clark also 
lived here until he removed to Fredonia, Chautauqua county. He was 
a descendant of the pilgrims, born in Connecticut; his sister was the 
wife of Nathan Hardin. 

Wood's Comers. — There was an early settlement at this point, which 
is about a mile south of West Winfield. In 1792 David Wood removed 
with his brother-in-law, Jotham Chapin, from Monson, Hampden county, 
Mass., being then twenty- seven years of age, and purchased of John 
I Morgan two farms, then being in a wilderness. One of them is now 
occupied by Colonel Wood, his son (the president of the West Win- 
field Bank), and the other is known as the Palmer farm, which was 
many years owned by Vose Palmer, and subsequently by Walter H. 
Palmer, the father of Charles J. Palmer, of Little Falls, whose brother 
now occupies the farm. About the same period Simeon Bucklin took 
up and began clearing a farm next easterly of the Corners, which is now 
owned and occupied by his son, Robert Bucklin, whose sister, Phoebe 
Bucklin, married Avery Backus, and they occupied the farm just south 
of the Robert Bucklin farm. About the same period Deacon Charles 
Burt, Larkin Smith, Joseph Gates, Eleazer Brown, Samuel Brown, 
and Adam Burdick settled in that vicinity. The settlement grew 
rapidly, and in 1825 Joseph Hardin taught school in the district em- 
bracing that territory, having one hundred scholars. There were some 
Revolutionary soldiers who lived in that vicinity, to wit : Joseph Moors, 

Adam Burdick, John Rutter, James Harris and Vaugn. About 

1790 the place known as " Meeting- House Green," about two miles 
and a half north of West Winfield, was settled. In this neighborhood 
resided Sewell Town, a public-spirited, energetic man, for many years 
a magistrate. Also the Leaches and Eldreds; and about a mile west 


of there was the home of Elijah Gates. His lands were sold in 1832, 
a portion thereof to Nathan Hardin, and the other portion thereof to 
Joseph Hardin, who in that year removed from the town of Plainfield, 
Otsego county. Nathan Hardin was the father of Joseph Hardin and 
eleven other children, who grew to be adults. His son, Dennis Hardin, 
was a merchant and banker at Leonardsville ; he was member of the 
Assembly in 1852. He was the father of Mrs. John O. Wheeler; Mr. 
Wheeler is cashier of the West Winfield Bank. His son, General A. C. 
Hardin, settled early in life in Monmouth, 111., and during the war raised 
a regiment on his own account, and was distinguished at the second battle 
of Fort Donaldson. In 1867 he represented his district in Congress. Dan- 
iel Hardin, another son, resided many years and carried on a mercantile 
business at Leonardsville, and now resides at Saginaw City and is pres- 
ident of the Citizens' National Bank. His son Nathan resides near Des 
Moines, Iowa. His oldest son was Joseph Hardin, who was born in 
Connecticut in 1804 at East Hampton ; his family removed to Plainfield, 
Otsego county, about the year 1816, where they resided until they lo- 
cated in the town of Winfield, above stated. Joseph Hardin resided on 
the farm purchased of Elisha Gates, where his sons, George A., Abner 
Clark and William H. were born. He removed to the village of West 
Winfield about the year 1838, having purchased the farm just westerly 
of the village and a little beyond the " Old Elm Tree," which has been 
a landmark or monument for over 125 years. Large portions of the 
farm were sold for village lots, and the site of the Catholic church 
by Joseph Hardin prior to his death, which occurred by reason of an 
accident caused by the overturning of a wagon in the summer of 1870. 
His widow occupied the farm until her death, which occurred in 1877. 
Shortly thereafter it was sold by his daughter, Mary E. Hardin, and his 
son, George A. Hardin, the heirs, to N. D. Taylor, who now occupies 
what has not been sold for village purposes. The homestead, however, 
was reserved by the heirs, and was occupied by Miss Mary E. Hardin 
as a residence until the time of her death, which occurred therein on 
the 1 6th day of August, 1 880. Subsequently it was conveyed by 
George A. Hardin to Charles D. Wheeler, a second cousin, who now 
occupies the same. 

Half a mile north of the Gates farm, already mentioned, was a neigh- 
borhood which was settled early in the century, where were the resi- 


dences of Anson Backus, Captain Goff, the Braces and the Holmeses. 
Anson Backus with his family removed to Gaines, Orleans county, 
about the year 1836. He was the father of Amanda Backus, who was 
born in the " Red House" on the Gates farm in 1803. She was mar- 
ried to Joseph Hardin in 1829, and they were the parents of George 
A. Hardin. 

Chepachet. — This is a hamlet in the northeast part of the town, with a 
post-office, over which James Dager is postmaster, at the railroad sta- 
tion. There is good water power here, which led to the settlement of 
the locality and the construction of mills. The first dam here was built 
by George Rounds to provide power for a saw-mill, which afterwards 
passed to possession of Isaac Simmons, and later to Charles Rice, who 
constructed a new dam above the old one and erected a grist-mill and 
the large stone house still standing. A distillery was once operated by 
Benjamin Carver where the shop of George Davis is now located. 
Charles Rice sold the grist-mill and sawmill to Sanders Dodge, and 
the former was burned about 1840. The present grist-mill was built 
by Elmer Angell ; he also had a blacksmith and trip-hammer shop. 
A dam was early in existence below the others, which furnished power 
for a cloth-dressing factory. It stood on a part of the farm of William 
Green, and was demolished by him about 1885. Charles Rice at one 
time had a furnace here, and it is said that he cast the first iron plows 
used in the county ; it stood on the place now owned by George 
Bailey. Much of the business activitj' of this hamlet has disap- 

North Winfield — Is a post-office in the northern part of the town ; 
the office was established forty- one years ago and Josiah Warner was 
the postmaster. One year later it was taken by Nathaniel Morgan, 
n3w of West Winfield, who kept it forty years, to 1891. Earl M. 
Rider is the present postmaster. Mr. Morgan formerly kept a store 
there, but there is now no business carried on at this point. A saw and 
grist-mill and cheese box factory are operated by Mr. Rider; they 
were built many years ago by Zadock Rider. 

Following is a list of supervisors of this town with date of their in- 
cumbency : 

James Orton, 1816-17, Matthew Eeith, 1818-26; Abraham Woodruff, 1827; Sim- 
eon Bucklin, 1818-32; Benjamin Caiver, 1833-37; David R. Carrier, 1838-39, 1853- 


54; Richard Bonfoy. 1840-41; Caleb Dodge, 1842 ; Samuel McKee, 1843-44; Zeuas 
Eldred, 1845-47,1862-63; Levi S. Knight, 1848-49 ; Nathaniel M. Morgan, 1850; 
Almond Crandall, 1851-52: George Thomas, 1855: Walter Palmer, 1856-59; Myron 
Eldred, 1860-61; S. S. Morgan, 1864-69; N. D. Taylor, 1870-72; Emery Bartlett, 
1871 ; Henry H. Morgan, 1873 ; Isaac T. Burgess, 1874; Henry M. Morgan, 1875-78; 
Myron A. McKee, 1879-81 ; Delevan L: Cook, 1882-83 ; Philip H. Brown! 1884-86 ; 
C. D. Wheeler, 1887; Dennis A. Dewey, 1888-90: Frank L. Brace. 1892-92. 



THIS town was formed from German Flats at the same time as 
Frankfort — February 5, 1796. It includes within its boundaries 
parts of Bayard's and Staley's, and a small part of Conrad Frank's pat- 
ents. The town is bounded on the north by Frankfort ; on the east by 
Columbia ; on the south by Winfield, and on the west by Oneida county. 
Its surface is elevated about 500 feet above the Mohawk and is moder- 
atelj' hilly. What are known as West Dry Hill and East Dry Hill are 
connected with elevated lands which form a water- shed, the streams on 
the northern side flowing to the Mohawk and those on the southern side 
to the Susquehanna. In the southern part of the town is Kibby's Pcnd, 
a small body of water without visible outlet or inlet. Cedar Lake, in the 
southwest part, contains twenty- five acres. Wheelock's Pond, contain- 
ing about five acres, named after Alvin Wheelock, an early settler, is 
the source of Moyer Creek, which flows west and northward from near 
the center of the town. The east branch of the Unadilla has its source 
in the western part and flows south. While some of the hill soil is thin 
in some localities, most of the town is arable and fertile. There are 
several springs in the town the waters of which are impregnated with 

Litchfield was not settled until after the Revolution, when in 1786 
Elijah Snow, a native of Massachusetts, settled on what is known as 
Wheelock's Hill, formerly called " Snow's Bush." William Brewer 
and Ezekiel Goodale, of Massachusetts, John Andrews, Christopher 


Rider from Connecticut, Ebenezer Drewry (or Drury) and John Everett 
from New Hampshire, and John and Eleazer Crosby from Connecticut, 
came into the town about the year 1787. Samuel Miller from Connect- 
icut, came in 1788, and James Gage and Nathaniel Ball from New 
Hampshire arrived about the same time. Selah Hoicomb settled here 
in 1 791. Other early settlers were Nathaniel Fish, Silas Hamilton, 
John Locke, William Hadley, Ira Wilkinson, Timothy Fuller, Harry 
Crane, John Ross, William Brayton, Daniel Ellsworth, John S. Avery, 
David BeaJs, John Paddock, Samuel Matthews, James Schooley, and 
the Gilletts in the Crane's Corners vicinit}', William Brewer, the Un- 
derwoods on Jerusalem Hill, John Ingersol, Abner Rising, the Gaylord 
and Congdon families on Jerusalem Hill, Aaron Goodier at what is 
known as Goodier's Corners, the Washburns, Burpees, and others else- 
where mentioned. Selah Hoicomb settled in the Cedarville section, as 
also did Nathaniel Fish ; William Hadley, also, whose grandson, J. I. 
Hadley, is still living. A. B. Wilkinson died in 1890; he then occu- 
pied the homestead of his father, Ira; Timothy Fuller settled at Jeru- 
salem Hill where he has grandsons still living ; Jeremiah Kinne is rep- 
resented by his son Jeremiah ; and John S. Avery, who lived to be 
nearly a centenarian, is represented in the town by his son William ; 
Samuel Matthews by his grandson Chauncey at Cedarville ; David 
Beal by his grandson Oliver; the James Schooley home is owned by 
his son Andrew ; Chester D. Gaylord occupies the homestead of his 
father, Lyman, near North Litchfield, and Samuel Norton the home- 
stead of his father, Russell, in that vicinity. James Congdon is repre- 
sented by his son, A. G. Congdon, near Cedar Lake ; and Richard 
Smith by his son W. H. Smith in the same section. Lewis Devendorf 
was a son of Henry, and C. T. and E. F. Wheelock are grandsons of 
Alvin ; (see history of Winfield). The farm of Lester Smith is now 
owned by Seymour, and Aaron Goodier's homestead by his grandsons, 
near Goodier's Corners. Representatives also of the families of Nathan- 
iel Ball (his grandson, H. H., being town clerk), children'^of Ebenezer 
Bennett, Archibald Parker, and others still reside in the town. Jonas 
Washburn settled early on Jerusalem Hill on the farm now occupied by 
his son, Edward V. Washburn ; and in the same vicinity Lyman Gay- 
Jord lives on the farm settled by Nathan Underwood. Ransford Gole's 


father settled early at North Litchfield, and George E. Holland, the 
present merchant and postmaster, bought the farm twenty-one j-ears 
ago. He also carries on the manufacture of lime. 

The first school was taught by Jeremiah Everett ; there are now 
nine districts in the town. The first store was kept by David Davis 
and the first tavern by Joseph Sheppard. John Littlejohn established 
the first grist-mill about 1 806. 

The first town meeting was held on the 5 th of April, 1796, and the 
following officers were elected: 

Supervi.'ior, Abel Brace; town clerk, Josiali Shepard ; asses.sors, John Littlejohn, 
Wm. C. Jones, Jeremiah Holnie-s ; overseers of the poor, Joseph Hooker and Joseph 
Walker; commissioners o£ highways, Asa Way, Oliver Harwood, Samuel Murray; 
constables, Peleg Harwood, Abel Brace, jr., Timothy Oreenly ; collectors, Abel Brace, 
jr., Timothy Greenly ; school commissioners, Abel Brace, Tilley Richardson, Josiah 

The first road laid out after the formation of Litchfield is described 
as "a road from Aaron Budlong's to Josiah Shepard's," and was sur- 
veyed by Israel Porter and recorded in May, 1796. The old Utica and 
Minden turnpike crossed this town and the Ilion and Cedarville plank 
road was built in 1848; it was a toll road until 1868. The Utica and 
Burlington plank road crossed the town, ending at Burlington Fiats. 

At the present time there is no manufacturing of any account in 
Litchfield. The farming community is fairly prosperous and carries on 
cheese-making to a large extent. There are six cheese factories in the 
town, one of which, the Kinne factory, was the second one established 
in the county. In early years wool was extensively produced, but since 
1870-75 little has been done in this industry. The Litchfield furnace 
was established in 18 16, on Moyer creek, near the Frankfort town line. 
The ore used came from Oneida county, and considerable smelting and 
casting was done for a number of years. Charcoal was used in the fur- 
nace, which gave the farmers who were clearing their lands quite a 
source of profit. Elisha Wetmore was the last owner of tlie furnace. 

There are a few small hamlets in Litchfield, but no village of impor- 
tance. Cedarville, a part of which is in the town, has been sufficiently 
noticed in the history of Columbia. Crane's Corners (Litchfield post- 
office) is in the northeastern part of the town, and was named after Harry 
Crane, before named as an early settler, who kept a tavern there in early 


years. John Ecker was an early merchant and Roswell Champion 
carried on a tannery. Warner Wheelock kept a store a number of 
years. There is no business there now. Stephen Matthews is post- 
master, succeeding Thomas Gary, and he succeeded Seymour Gage, who 
had the office a number of years. 

North Litchfield is a hamlet and post-office in the northern part of 
the town, with George E. Holland as postmaster. This has been known 
as Day's Corners, after Almeron Day, who kept a store here. Mr. Hol- 
land took the post office in 1875, buying out the business of Mr. Day. 
He also carries on the manufacture of lime, in which business John E. 
Salisbury and Dixon & Lewis are also engaged in that vicinity. 

Cedar Lake is a hamlet and post-office in the southern part of the 
town. Edwin Goodier is postmaster, succeeding Almeron Norton in 
1891. The old saw-mill belongs to the estate of John Gird. A store is 
kept by Duane Histed and B. F. Wheeler is the blacksmith. 

A post-office was established ten or twelve years ago at Norwich 
Corners, where a store was formerly kept. N. L. Harrison is the pres- 
ent postmaster. 

The town of Litchfield is divided into nine school districts, and while 
there is no institution of learning in the town of higher grade than the 
common schools, these are kept up with sufficient vigor to suffice for 
the needs of the community. 

Churches. — The First Baptist church of Litchfield was organized at the 
house of Nathaniel Ball on the 15th of March, 1795. Meetings were held 
in private houses until the school-house at North Litchfield was finished 
in 1815. The first pastor was Elder Harris. The first church building 
was erected in 1834, and it was remodeled in 1875. Services have been 
kept up with considerable regularity, either by settled pastors or by 
students from Madison University. 

Congregational (Presbyterian) Church. — A church that was Congre- 
gational in form was organized in the town in August, 1796; but its 
history is unknown and unobtainable. On the 24th of December, 1840, 
" a number of the inhabitants of the town for the purpose of enjoying 
social and religious privileges, met at the school-house near John Under- 
wood's and, agreeable to the statute of this State, formed themselves 
into a religious society called the Litchfield First Congregational Socie- 


ty, with constitution and rules of government." The first trustees were 
Ebenezer Cowles, Timothy Foster, Wm. Brewer, Francis Smiley, John 
Underwood, Isaac Jillet and Eliphalet Fuller. In April, 1813, the 
church took the name of the Litchfield Presbyterian Society and joined 
the presbytery of Oneida, with Rev. Thomas Mills as pastor ; he con- 
tinued until 1820. The first church building was commenced at Jeru- 
salem Hill about the year 18 10, and was finally finished in 18 14. This 
building in course of time fell into decay and a smaller church was 
erected across the road. In 1890 this building was removed to near the 
site of the first one. Services have been generally regular, either by 
settled pastors or by students of Auburn Theological Seminary. Rev. 
John H. Pollock is the present pastor. 

The Norwich Congregational Church — Was organized in 1799, with 
over eighty members. The first church was built in 1802, and was struck 
by lightning and burned in 18 10. In the following year the present 
church was erected. In 1842 it was remodeled. The first minister was 
Rev. John Eastman, who remained ten years. In about the year 1845 
an unhappy dissension arose in the church which divided into two 
factions, each of which had services most of the time for more than 
twenty years, and until 1866, when they were again united under the 
ministry of Rev. David Biggar. In May, 1876, the society united with 
the Jerusalem Hill church. At the present time the society, though 
small, is prosperous and active. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church — At Cedar Lake was formed prob- 
ably previous to 1 8 1 3. Aaron Goodier, one of the pioneers, and an esti- 
mable preacher, was ordained as a deacon in that year. A church was 
built in 1838, and dedicated by Aaron Goodier and Zachariah Paddock ; 
this was burned in 1858, and the present church erected in its place in 

The Methodist Society — At Crane's Corners was formed very early 
in the present century, for a wooden church owned by the society was 
standing in 1804. A new church, which is still in use, was built about 
the year 1862, at a cost of $3,000. There is no service held there at 
the present time. This church and the ones at Frankfort Hill and 
Cedar Lake were served by the same ministers for many years. 

The First Universalist Society — Of North Litchfield was organized 
March 19, 1838, with Samuel Rider, Horace E. Ball and William Wet- 


more as trustees ; Boughton Everett, clerk. Rev. Dolphus Skinner 
and T. D. Cook were among the early ministers. Rev. O. A. Brown- 
son served the church for many years. 

Following is a list of supervisors of this town, with date of their in- 
cumbency : 

1796, Abel Brace; 1799, Abel Brace and Francis Smiley; 1800, Francis Smiley; 
180], Francis Smiley and Mason Hatfield; 1802, Mason Hatfield; 1805, Jared J. 
Hooker; 1806, Selah Holcomb ; 1808, Abraham Woodruff; 1810, Benjamin Wood ; 
1812, George Paddock ; 1813, James Orton ; 1816, Matthew Keith ; 1817, John Everett; 
1822, John Ross; 1824, Samuel Fish; 182G, Stephen Crosby; 1828, Thomas Phelon ; 
1830, Samuel Rider; 1832, Selah Holcomb; 1833, Thomas Phelon; 1835, Jonathan 
Butler; 1838, Samuel Rider; 1840, Blias W. Fish; 1842, Alanson Townsend; 1844, 
Julius C. Warren ; 1846, Blias W. Fish ; 1847, Amasa B. Miller; 1848, William Bray- 
ton ; 1850, Anson Rider; 1852, James M. Dodge; 1854, Boughton Everett; 1856, 
Horace E. Ball ; 1858, Archibald Parker ; 1860, Alonzo L. Fish ; 1863, Philander 
Rewry; 1865, Archibald Parker; 1867, Alonzo L. Avery ; 1871, Jacob M. Bealg; 1873, 
Chauncey Matthews ; 1878, Chauncey Matthews ; 1879-1883, H. L. Harrison ; 1884 1887, 
Levi C. Smith; 1888-1890, Irving K. Fish; 1801-1892, B. B Holcomb. 



THE town of Frankfort was formed from German Flats on the 5th of 
February, 1796. In 1798 a part of it was annexed to Deerfield in 
Oneida county. It is bounded northerly by the town of Schuyler; 
easterly by Herkimer and German Flats ; southerly by Litchfield, and 
westerly by Oneida county. The Mohawk River flows along its north- 
ern boundary. The town is watered by many small brooks, and the 
soil is fertile. Limestone exists in the southwestern part, from which 
excellent lime is made. 

Frankfort contains a considerable portion of Cosby's Manor, and 
about one and one-quarter of a tier of great lots in Bayard's patent, 
four lots in Burnetsfield, and about half a lot in Frank's patent, four and 
a half lots in Staley's, and a part of Colden's patent. The original 
western limit of the town was at the foot of what is now Genesee street 


in Utica. After leaving the valley of the Mohawk, which averages 
about half a mile in width in this town, the surface is hilly. Moyer 
Creek flows into the Mohawk at Frankfort, and Ferguson Creek dis- 
charges into the river about a mile from the west boundary of the town. 
The principal business of the farming community is dairying, which is 
very successfully pursued. 

Frankfort received its name from Lawrence Frank, who was among 
the early settlers. The first permanent settler was Jacob Folts, who 
came in 1723, with other Palatines. He was given lot No. 3, of the 
Burnetsfield patent, south of the river, and afterwards became owner of 
the adjoining lot. No. 2. This lot remained in possession of members 
of the Folts family until recent times. Conrad Folts was a brother of 
Jacob, and was lost in the Mohawk in June, 1793, leaving nine children, 
among whom was Jacob C. Folts, who was the ancestor of Jacob J. 
Folts. Col. James Folts was another prominent member of this family. 
The ancestral home of the family was erected by Jacob C. Folts, and 
for many years was the finest residence in the town.^ Other early 
settlers were Andrew Piper, David Dederick, Aaron James, Evan 
Evans, Joseph Harris, John Morris, John Myers, Adam Weber. Some 
of these were of Welsh origin, of which nationality a large number set- 
tled in the upper Mohawk valley about the year 1800 and later. 

Sylvester Joslin, whose farm is still owned by his granddaughter, was 
an early settler of P'rankfort ; also Christopher Joslin, who has a grand- 
son living in Frankfort village ; as well as Alexander Watson, whose 
farm is occupied by his grandson, Alexander B. Watson. Amos Till- 
inghast came early, and his farm is in part occupied by his descendants ; 
also John Joslin, whose land is occupied by Merritt F. Joslin ; Aaron 

1 To Jacob Folts was assigned lot Ko. 3 on the south side of the Mohawk River. This lot is in 
the town of Frankfort and is now owned by Daniel W. Folts, who is a descendant in a direct line 
from the original proprietor of the lot, andiwhich has been m the same name and blood for more 
than one hundred and fifty years. Jacob Folts, the original proprietor of lot No. 3, was a useful 
man in the church of German Flats and to his country. He held a commission in the Provincial 
army, issued by Governor Moore, bearing date October 8, 176S. He became owner of the adjoining 
lot No. 2 before the War of the Revolution ; and by his will, which is dated October 16, 1793, he gave 
to his grandson, Warner Folts, his lot No. 3, and to his grandson, Jacob C. Folts, lot No. 2. He 
died in 1807, at the great age of 97 years, and consequently was only 13 years of age when lot No. 3 
was originally assigned to him. His grandson, Warner Folts, was the father of Daniel W. Folts, 
the present owner and occupant of lot No. 3 ; and his grandson, Jacob C. Folts, was the father of 
Col. James Folts, the present owner and occupant of lot No. 2. The present occupant of lot No. 3 
is in the fourth generation of the same name and blood as owner of the lot.— From Samuel Earl's 
writings of 1876. 


Budlong, still represented by his grandson Robert ; Samuel Ferguson, 
by his grandson, James D. ; William Bridenbecker, by his grandsons, 
Judson and Sherwood B., sons of Alexander. These men and others 
laid the foundation of the prosperous town; opened roads, built mills 
and cleared the forests. 

Others who settled in this town and became prominent in its affairs 
were John B. Dygert, Chauncey Devendorf, who was for forty years a 
merchant ; Edward Davis, who lived about two miles west of Frankfort 
village ; Epaphroditus Palmer, a prominent farmer just east of the vil- 
lage; William H. Tisdale, who is still living ; and Robert Etheridge. 
Sketches of others appear a little further on. 

The first town meeting was undoubtedly held in 1796, but the rec- 
ords are mutilated and do not show its proceedings. In 1797 the 
following town officers were elected : 

Joseph McKee, Benjamin Levaley, David Dederick, Benjamin Ballon, Jeremiah 
Powell, Ezekiel Baker, Thomas Whitcomb, and Samuel Wood, overseers of highways, 
fence viewers and poundmasters ; Joseph McKee, Solomon Johnson and Joseph Lowe, 
commissioners of schools ; and it was '' voted that the next annual town meeting be 
held at the house of David Dederick. Attest Joseph JIcKee, town clerk." 

The usual town regulations were adopted. In 1799 it was voted that 
the town be divided " into four wards for the convenience of erecting 
pounds." Running at large of cattle, the height of fences, etc., were 
regulated by early ordinances. Some of the numerous entries relative 
to stray cattle are very curious, as witness the following: 

In 1815 Michael Widrig had taken up '■' four calfs ; one of them a Bool Calf, and 
three are black, one with a wite face, and the other two some wite spots on their 
forret." Jesse Hamblin took up " one Red Cow a, bout twelve years old, without any 
mark, the Right horn Lops down and a short tale ; " and Jacob Hofstater records " one 
Red Cow with a pease of wood on her horns." 

Warner Folts, of this town, had at least one slave as late as 1822, 
concerning which the following record appears: 

I, Warner Folts, of the town of Frankfort, in the county of Herkimer, farmer, do 
certify that a negro girl named Susan, to whose service I am entitled, was born of 
Flora, a slave, then owned by Mr. Doneken, in Canajoharie, in the county of Mont- 
gomery, on the 28th day of February, 1804, according to the best of my knowledge, 
information and belief. 

Caleb Budlong, Town Clerk. Warner Folts. 


There were at first eight road districts in the town ; and in 1832, pre- 
vious to which date the school records are lost, there were eleven 
school districts. 

It is believed that there was a grist-mill and a saw-mill on the creek 
just east of the site of Frankfort village previous to the Revolution, which 
were both burned by the French and Indians in 1757. In 1794 John 
Hollister built another saw-mill, and near it, on Moyer creek, Adam I. 
Campbell built a grist-mill in 1808. In 1823 it was abandoned and a 
second was built near the other, which last mentioned one was burned 
in 1853. A paper-mill was erected on the site which was converted 
into a distillery, and that into the present grist- mill. 

The first tavern in the town was kept in 1795 by John Myers, about 
a mile and a half northwest from the present village of Frankfort, on 
the State road. 

About 1816 Matthew and Michael Myers built a large ashery on the 
bank of the river near the village, which was successfully operated for 
many years. George W. Henry established a manufactory of cow-bells 
in 1823, and later engaged in various enterprises. Several attempts 
have been made in Herkimer and Oneida counties to develop iron in- 
dustries, both in smelting and manufacturing. The Frankfort furnace 
was established in 18 19, by a stock company, bringing its ore from 
Clinton, Oneida county. It was quite successful for some years, but 
was finally abandoned. The town of Salisbury has an iron ore bed. 

The Frankfort Woolen Factory was built in 1807 by Joseph Ingham, 
of Schuyler, and Joseph Collins, of Frankfort. It has continued to do 
business until the present time, the first primitive machinery being 
used down to 1865, when Robert Kerr purchased it from Mr. Collins, 
and refitted it with modern machinery. It was the first woolen factory 
in Herkimer county. 

Dr. Caleb Budlong was the first physician in the town and village of 
Frankfort; he was one of the four persons who made up the first gradu- 
ating class of Fairfield Medical College in 1817. The first attorney 
was Samuel Chapman. Later Col. George B. Judd was a prominent 
lawyer in this town. 

Following is a list of supervisors of Frankfort, with date of their 
incumbency : 


In 1796, James Kipp; 1798, Joseph McKee ; 1801, Aaron Budlong; 1806, Warner 
Folts; 1807, John Joslin ; 1822, Joseph French; 1825, Samuel Ethridge ; 182G, John 
B. Dygert; 1828, Erastus Everett; 1832, Warner Folts; 1833, Robert Cook;' 1835 
Caleb Budlong; 1839, John Morgan; 1841, Warner Dygert; 1843, William Briden- 
becker ; 1844, James Macauley ; 1845, Lewis F. Joslin; 1846, Charles Crow: 1847 
Chauncey Devendorf; 1848, Edward Davis ; 1849, Edward Davis, jr. ; 1850, Epaphro'- 
ditus Palmer; 1851, AVilliam Gates, jr ; 1853, James M. Hulser; 1854, George John- 
son ; 1855, William Gates; 1856, Peter J. Hotaling; 1859, Richard Davis; 1860, 
William H. Tisdale ; 1861, Robert Ethridge ; 1863, Lewis Davis ; 1864, Robert Ethridge; 
1865, Thomas Devendorf ; 1867, Archibald McGowan ; 1870, John W. Bridenbecker- 
1871, P. A. Skifif; 1874, W. H. H. Parkhurst ; 1875, William W. Crosby; 1878-188l| 
W. W. Crosby; 1882-1885, George L Seaman; 1886-1889, John Lottis; 1890. C. w! 
Harter; 1891, George L Seaman ; 1892, John T. Kerivan. 

The building of the Erie Canal and the later opening of the railroad, 
with a station at the northeast corner of the town (though just in the 
edge of Schuyler) inspired the hope felt all along the line, that they 
would lead to the rapid development of the town and village ; but such 
a hope was to a large extent groundless, as must always be the case with 
the larger number of railroad towns. The opening of the West Shore 
road, however, in 1883, proved a boon to Frankfort, through the liber- 
ality of her citizens. When it became known that the immense shops 
of the new railroad would be located where the most generous offers 
were made of land and other conveniences, the people of Frankfort 
village and other citizens of the county and State fairly out -bid all 
other points, gave the company real estate valued at about $75,000 
and secured the prize. The present great shops, employing several 
hundred men at all seasons, were erected, and have been the means of 
giving the village a degree of vitality and thrift which it could not 
otherwise have acquired. 

In 1872 the village of Frankfort was connected with Ilion by a street 
railroad, giving frequent and easy connection with that village, as well 
as with Mohawk and Herkimer by similar lines. 

In 1807 there were only seven houses within the limits of the present 
corporation of Frankfort village. About 18 10 Jacob Weaver opened 
a tavern here, and in 18 14 Matthew and Michael Myers opened a store 
nearly opposite the woolen factory. In 1809 a grist-mill was built, 
which is still standing, and in 1811 a tannery was erected by a Mr. 
Qriswold; this was continued in operation until about i860. Elias 


Palmer made grain cradles here for a number of years, and until the 
sale of harvesting machines killed his business. A distillery was oper- 
ated for some years after 1820. 

On the 4th of May, 1863, the village was incorporated, and under 
the charter the first election was held on the 25th of May, when the 
following persons were elected trustees : J. W. Bridenbecker, presi- 
dent ; A. W. Sheldon, Isaac Piper, M. Golden, Samuel Z. Hoard. 
The population was given in 1870 as 1,083; 't is now (1892) about 

Fire Department. — At the time of the incorporation of the village, 
the apparatus for extinguishing fires consisted of one hand engine. This 
soon became nearly worthless, and in 1886 the authorities purchased a 
second-hand hand engine which was in effective use until 1883, when 
an Amoskeag steamer was purchased second-hand at a cost of $1,100. 
The former Columbian Engine Co. took the steamer in charge, and 
with it was connected the Niagara Hose Company. This engine and 
company are now known as Columbian Steamer & Hose Co. No. 2, with 
the following officers : D. E. Tisdale, president ; W. C. Abbott, vice- 
president ; G. F. Tyne, secretary ; H. S. Ballda, treasurer ; Martin 
Tucker, jr., foreman; John Owens, 1st assistant foreman; L. E. Nipe, 
2d assistant foreman. 

In 1886, a hook and ladder truck was purchased at a cost of $625, 
and the H. H. Ingham H. & L. Co. No. 3 was formed, which now has 
the following officers : B. E. Durst, president ; W. H. Thomas, vice- 
president ; C. P. Johnson, secretary; H. C. Loris, treasurer; J. W. 
Powers, foreman; Robert Gordon, 1st assistant foreman; Frederick 
Parshall, 2d assistant foreman. 

In 1890 a second steamer was purchased at a cost of $i,200, and 
Honahan Steamer & Hose Co. No. I was formed with the following 
present officers: Y. F. Wells, president; T. J. Costello, vice-president; 
Frank Phillips, secretary ; H. Steele, treasurer ; Thomas Ashby, fore- 
man ; Edward Manning, ist assistant foreman ; F. D. Deuel, 2d as- 
sistant foreman. 

The present brick engine-house was built in 18843! a cost of $3,500, 
and in it all the modern apparatus is kept. The old hand engine is 
kept on Main street, and the first steamer on the match factory premises. 


The following are the department officers in 1892 : 

Thomas Honahan, chief; R. J. Peuster, 1st assistant chief; John Manning, jr., 2d 
assistant chief; E. J. Garner, president; Frank Staring, M. D. Eagan, and B. J. Owen, 
vice-presidents ; John Kerivan, jr., secretary ; C. C. Barter, treasurer. 

Manufacture of Matches. — The village of Frankfort has been known 
during many years as the location of a large match- making industry. 
This was first established by William Gates in 1844. His first building 
was only twelve feet square, and was situated some fifty rods from the 
present factory, on the bank of the canal. There the first matches 
were cut by hand, with a kind of plane, which cut about three at a time 
in width and a strip about three feet long. These were cut in pieces 
twice the length of the matches to be made, and dipped at both ends 
into melted sulphur. After drying in frames they were cut in the mid- 
dle, put in hand- made boxes and peddled about in near-by places. Mr. 
Gates made also the block matches, which were split in blocks but not 
wholly separated, and were dipped a single block at a time. Those 
early matches brought a price more than ten times as high as the pres- 
ent price of matches. 

Mr. Gates saw the great need of machinery with which to perform 
the work he had been doing by hand, and set himself about the task of 
inventing and making it. The result of his efforts, combined to some 
extent with the aid of others, finally resulted in machinery for making 
matches and the small boxes in which they are sold, that seems almost 
human and intelligent in its action. William Gates died July 28, 1877, 
and was succeeded by his sons, the style of William Gates's Sons being 
adopted August I, 1877. Frederick Gates, one of the sons, is now a 
prominent capitalist of Harriman, Tennessee. 

Schools — Bank — Press. — There are now fifteen school districts in the 
town of Frankfort, of which two are in the village, conducted under 
the Union Free-school system. The graded school, over which W. F. 
Moshier is principal, assisted by six teachers, is one of the best in the 
county. A new school building is being erected at a cost of $20,000, 
with accommodations for 500 pupils. The building is of brick and will 
contain ten rooms 

In the year 1854 the Frankfort Bank was incorporated under the gen- 
eral law, with a capital of $100,000. The first officers were : William 


Bridenbecker, president; William Gates, vice-president; R. H. Pome- 
roy, cashier ; and later Robert Ethridge, cashier. Business was con- 
tinued until about 1870, when the affairs of the institution were closed 
up. The village was then without a bank until 1886, when the First 
National Bank of Frankfort was organized with a capital of $50,000, 
and Henry Churchill was chosen president. He has held tlie office un- 
til the present time. The cashier was and still is A. W. Haslehurst, 
who is also cashier of the First National Bank of Herkimer ; this leaves 
the immediate charge of the Frankfort bank in the hands of George 
H. Watson, as assistant cashier, who has been in the position since the 
bank was organized. The directors are Henry Churchill, H. G. Hun- 
ger, George P. Folts, L R. Hunt, W. W. Crosby, George A. Smith, 
John Loftis, George H. Watson, A. W. Haslehurst. The bank has a 
surplus of $9,000 and about $88,000 deposits. The old bank building 
was purchased and is now occupied. 

On the 1st of January, 1881, J. G. Hardell started a newspaper in 
Newport, Herkimer county, called the Newport Advertiser, which he 
continued until 1883, when he enlarged it to eight pages and changed 
the name to the Newport Register. In 1885 he removed it to Frank- 
fort and changed the name to conform to the new location. The paper 
enjoys a circulation of about 1,000 and is liberally supported. 

Churches. — The Baptist church in Frankfort was formed by a few 
persons who were granted letters of dismission from the church in 
Schuyler, in December, 1828. The church was organized by a council 
at Masonic Hall, Frankfort, January 27, 1829. This movement was 
effected chiefly by Elder Stephen Wilkins, who was the first pastor. 
In addition to several supplies who served the church at different short 
periods, the society has had as regular pastors: 

Elders N. G. Chase, 18.30-32; Lewis Ranstead, 1833-36; Rev. Thomas Houston, 
1830-42; Rev. Ne*eU Boughton, 1842-46; and th-n Rev. R. G. Toles became pastor in 
1849; Rev. William B. Curtis in 1853; Rev. M. Mumford in 1854; Rev. G. P. Martin 
in 1859; Rev. J. C. Ward in 1860; Rev. A. Lindsay in 1869; Rev. A. Le Roy, a part 
of 1873 ; Rev. H. M. Perry to 1876 ; Rev. H. Garliek, who began in 1876 ; Rev. M. W. 
Hayues, 1880-83; Rev. Amos Myers, 1883-85; Rev. J. A. Ford, 1885-88; Rev. J. R. 
Shaw, 1888-92. 

Services were held in various places until 1834, when the first build- 
ing was erected, at a cost of $1,300. It was burned in 1861, and in 

Town of frankfort. 395 

the same year another and a larger structure was erected at a cost of 
$2,500. The church membership in 1S92 was 153. 

There was a Methodist class in Frankfort long before the organiza- 
tion of the church, which took place about the year 1842. The society 
grew in numbers, but it was not made a station until 1849, '"^ which 
year the first church building was erected ; it was of brick and cost 
$1,800. It was dedicated in February, 1850, Rev. B. F. Devendorf 
preaching the sermon. About twenty years later the site of the old 
Dutch Reformed church was purchased by the Methodist society, and 
there the present church edifice was erected. The old Reformed church 
was moved away to make room for the new one. The Reformed 
church building was the first church erected in Frankfort, and was built 
about the year 1825. The new church cost about $6,000, and was 
dedicated in June, 1869. The pastors of the church have been as fol- 
low : 

1850-51. D.Stone; 1852-53,fT. D. Mitchell; 1854, R. S. Frasier ; ] 855-56, A. M. 
Smith; 1857, J. V. Ferguson; 1858-59, Orra Squire; 1860-61. C. H.Austin; 1862-63. 
F.Zimmerman; 1864-65, Cyrus Phillips; 1866-68, W. L. Tisdale ; 1869-71, B. F. Bar- 
ker ; 1872-74, S. P. Gray; 1875, J. L. Humphrey ; 1876-78, M. R. Webster; 1879-82, 
William F. Brown; 1882-85, Harlow Skeel ; 1885-88, R. J. Smith; 1888-90, J. L. 
Humphrey ; 1890-92, S. W. Brown. 

Other Methodist societies existed at an early day in this town, serv- 
ices being held in school-houses and elsewhere. These were consoli- 
dated in 1840, under the pastorate of L. Beach, and in that year a 
church was built. It was used until 1872, when another was erected in 
its place at Frankfort Hill, costing $8,000. The society has prospered 
satisfactorily and still holds services with regularity. 

About the year 1820 a class was formed at West Frankfort, with 
Samuel Barnes as leader. On the 28th of January, 1839, the class was 
organized into a church, which was called the Third Society of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church of Frankfort. A church was built in 
1840; was repaired in 1873-4 and rededicated February 18, 1874. 
The church property is worth about $2,000. 

The First Universalist church of Frankfort was organized in 1838, 
and Rev. Dolphus Skinner, a very able man, was pastor from that time 
until 1850. From 1838 until 1844 meetings were held in Masonic 
Hall, but in the last named year the present church was built. The 


present membership is sixty. Mr. Skinner was succeeded in the pas- 
torate by Richard Eddy, and he by Josiah Bartlett in 1851. D. C. 
O'Daniels was pastor in 1854; T. D. Cook in 1857; Daniel Ballou in 
1865, and again in 1873, and for a number of years thereafter. W. H. 
Grigsby and C. B. Richardson also served the church between 1868 and 
' S73. J. J. Drayton preaches at the present time in Frankfort and Utica. 

St. Alban's Episcopal church of Frankfort was organized in 1888. 
A church building had already been erected in 1886 at a cost of about 
$3,000. The first rector was Rev. Sheldon M. Griswold, of Ilion, who 
preached to the mission while the church was being provided. The 
church has since been served by pastors from Herkimer and Ilion, Rev. 
William Mason Cook, of the latter place, officiating at the present time. 
There are about forty communicants. 

St. Peter's and St. Paul's Catholic church was formed under the ad- 
ministration of Rev. Father J. H. Halpin, now of Herkimer, Decem- 
ber 16, 1885. A substantial and commodious brick church belongs to 
the congregation. When Father Halpin went to Herkimer he was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Patrick Wallace. 

There are five post-offices in the town of Frankfort, the one at Frank- 
fort village being undercharge of Thomas Honahan as postmaster. At 
Frankfort Center the postmaster is W. L. Tisdale. At the Gulf John 
Alvord has the post-office ; at McGowan's, A. W. McGowan is post- 
master. At Frankfort Hill H. C. Pryne is postmaster. There is no 
business of consequence at any of these points. 

The present (1892) officers of Frankfort village are as follow: Pres- 
ident, C. C. Harter ; trustees, George Russell, G. F. Tine, A. L. Ash- 
ley, W. W. Duell ; clerk, Frank Duel!. 

West Frankfort (now known as Harbor Station, on the West Shore 
Railroad), is a small settlement in the western part of the town, where a 
hotel is kept by D. C. Penny, and stores by John Near and Frank Van 
Dyke. Mail is received at Utica, four miles distant. 

Frankfort Center was formerly known as Howard's Bush, and there 
has long been a saw-mill and cheese factory there. McGowansville, or 
East Frankfort, is on the canal about a mile east of Frankfort. It re- 
ceived its name from Hon. Archibald C. McGowan, ex-senator, who 
settled there in 1854, and is still living. He built a dry dock at that 
f)oint, and has for many years carried on a mercantile business. 

Town of schuylee. 397 



THE town of Schuyler was formed from the town of Herkimer 
April 10, 1792. Since that date the town of Trenton was taken 
from it in 1797 ; Deerfield (Oneida county) in 1798, and a part of New- 
port in 1S06. A part of Herkimer was annexed in 1808, and rean- 
nexed to Herkimer in 181 1. (See New York session laws.) Schuyler 
is bounded on the north by Newport ; east by Herkimer ; south by the 
Mohawk River, and west by Oneida county. The valley of the Mohawk, 
with an average width of one and one-half miles, constitutes the 
southern part of the town, comprising about 6,000 acres, which is a 
rich productive section ; while the hilly region of the remainder of the 
town is a slaty, gravelly soil, quite well adapted to tillage. The streams 
are small and flow into the Mohawk. The whole of Kast's patent and 
parts of Cosby's manor and Hasenclever's and Walton's patents consti- 
tute the territory of the town. 

Among the white men who penetrated the wilderness in the western 
part of what is now Herkimer county as early or earlier than the Pala- 
tine settlements were made at Fort Herkimer (German Flats), was 
John Jurgh Kass (or Kast, as now written). He was one of the thrifty 
Germans who saw the possibilities of trade with the Indians, and it is 
known that he was among them in 1720 trading them ammunition and 
trinkets for their valuable furs. A tradition exists that he also sold them 
the coveted rum, and that for a keg of the " fire water " he bought 
about 1 1,000 acres of choice land, which he described, and that in 1724 
his titled was confirmed to him by Great Britain. This was the earliest 
date of a patent in this country, although the Burnetsfield grantees 
(Kast being one) settled on their lands a year earlier. Some of the de- 
scendants of Kast are still living in this county. 

The town of Schuyler probably sufifered but little in the French and 
Indian war, its situation on the west of the frontier saving it, in a large 
measure, from savage incursions. Permanent settlement began in the 


eastern part of the town about the year 1764, when Peter Hasenclever, 
an enterprising and wealthy German from Wurtemberg, came to the 
colon}' and erected iron works on the Hudson River near West Point; 
he also established trading posts farther west, and obtained a site for 
settlement at what is now East Schuyler. During the period preceding 
the Revolution this was the extreme western settlement in this State. 

While in Wurtemberg on a visit Hasenclever pictured to the German 
peasants the wonders of the new world in such glowing colors that a 
number of them consented to emigrate. Hasenclever provided them 
with means for their passage to his settlement, and agreed to supply 
them and their families with subsistence for three years in return for 
their service. He built an ashery, probably the first frame building, 
and the first manufactory of any kind within the present bounds of 
Schuyler. He also had a store (the first in Herkimer county), which 
was situated on land now occupied by the widow of D. I. Briden- 
becker. Potash and other products were shipped by Hasenclever 
down the Moliawk in flat boats, and merchandise and provisions re- 
turned in the same manner. He also began to build a saw-mill on a 
small stream flowing into the Mohawk. This settlement he named 
" New Petersburg." Over thirty log houses were built for tlie people 
employed by Hasenclever, among whom were families named Briden- 
becker. Staring, Bargy (formerly written Birchi), Clemens, Widrig, 
Oyer (formerly written Aiyer and Irer), Finster, Keller, Steinway, and 
others. Descendants of several of these families still occupy land on 
which their ancesters first settled. 

The Revolutionary War was the cause of the destruction and abandon- 
ment of New Petersburg. The business of the ashery and the trading 
were broken up and Hasenclever left the country for good. The ash- 
ery stood on ground now owned by Luther P. Staring. 

Early in the struggle for independence the settlers in Schuyler real- 
izing their exposed situation, adopted measures for protection. A 
piece of ground, now also owned by Mr. Staring, and on the rising land 
on which his house now stands, was enclosed by high pickets and was 
known as the " fort." Within this enclosure three or four log houses 
were built, into which the families retired at night, while during the 
day they worked on the near-by lands. The place was much harassed 


by the Indians and tories, and several of the inhabitants were killed or 
taken prisoners. The attacks at last became so frequent that the people 
were impelled to flee into Fort Dayton, abandoning their homes until 
the close of the war. Among the women who petitioned the Legisla- 
ture after the war for assistance, were several widows of settlers at New 

Schuyler, as we have seen, was a part of Herkimer until 1792. Be- 
fore that year a good many families from the Eastern States had come 
into this part of the valley, purchased the farms of some of the Germans, 
and settled permanently on the hill land back from the flats. In early 
times it was a prevailing theory that tlie valley would be extremely 
wealthy as a place for settlement and living, and nearly or quite all of 
the early emigrants located first on the high ground. The first roads 
were often on the hill sides. The increase of population following the 
Revolution led to the division of Herkimer and the creation of Schuyler. 
The town was named in honor of Gen. Philip Schuyler, who, with his 
relatives, the Bleeckers, owned a considerable tract in the eastern part 
of Cosby's Manor, Possession of several extensive lots was obtained, 
after some difficulty, by surveying five lots of one hundred acres each 
across the large lots. This tract was nearly midway between the river 
and the head line adjoining Hasenclever's patent ; it was just half a mile 
wide and nearly two miles long, and has been known as the "five hun- 
dred acre tract." The original large lots in the manor were surveyed 
with the lines running at right angles from the river to the north head 
line and numbered from east to west; but as Kast's patent was within 
the manor, those lots that lay between that patent and the head line 
were much shorter than those east and west of them, and hence have 
been and are known as " Short Lots." 

The "Windfall," so called, is in the northern part of the town. It 
gained its name from a portion of the original forest that was felled by 
a tornado. George Whaley and the Barbers were the first settlers in 
that section. 

" The Bush " was thus named by the Germans, it remaining an un- 
broken forest long after the lower settlements were made. Haywood 
Minott, and three Johnson brothers, Lyman, Josiah and Rawson, were 
among the pioneers in this immediate locality. The section has been 
known as Minott's Corners. 


A little north of East Schuyler (or New Petersburg, or Germantown, 
by all of which names it has been known) was Stone Arabia, situated on 
high ground, the neighborhood of which was long known by the Yan- 
kees as " the Dutch Settlement." In this vicinity Baultis Bridenbecker 
settled on land that is still in possession of members of the family. His 
grandsons, D. I. and Amos Bridenbecker, were prominent among the 
farmers of the town. Luther P. Staring also lived on land that was set- 
tled by his grandfather, and later was owned by his father. A son of 
Daniel Oyer still lives on the farm where his great-grandfather settled, 
who was killed in the battle ofOriskany. He spelled his name " Iver." 

The central and western parts of the town were not much settled un- 
til about the beginning of the present century. Elisha Ladd came in 
1804, and Stephen and Elisha Rose came from Connecticut and settled 
in the " Short Lots." Jonathan Richardson came in early and also the 
Budlongs. Thomas Wood, Charles Brown, and Charles Christian were 
among the first settlers at West Schuyler. Descendants of most of these 
are still residents here. The first brick house in town was built at West 
Schuyler by Lovel Burch in 1830, and Calvin Wood built one soon 
afterward ; both are yet standing. Hiram Tanner built the third about 
a mile north of West Schuyler. 

After the failure of Hasenclever to build a saw-mill, no other was 
built until about 1798, when John Finster erected one at East Schuyler, 
on the Bridenbecker Creek, opposite his house. Later he built another 
lower down on the same stream, and both were of great importance to 
the pioneers, in giving them lumber for houses and barns. Elisha Rose 
built the second mill in the town on the Staring Creek and a Mr. Augur 
also built one. These long ago disappeared. A saw- mill was built in 
1826 on the Mohawk by Amos Smith, Robert Burch and Mason Barken 
on what is known as the Bradstreet farm ; it was not operated very long. 
Two grist-mills had been built on the Staring Creek, but they long ago 
succumbed to the ravages of time. One of them was built by Dr. Joseph 
Carder, on the farm now owned by his grandsons, Homer and Horace. 
The other was built by Robert Hinchman, and was about half a mile 
below the Carder mill. A grist-mill was also built by a man named 
Brown above those mentioned and on a small stream flowing into Star- 
ing Creek, near where the State road crosses the creek ; he also built a 


saw-mill on the same site, which he operated a short time. All of these 
have disappeared. About 1845 Vaugn Sweet bought the clothing- mill 
at West Schuyler and built a grist-mill on the site ; with the failure of 
wa^er this mill was, like the others, abandoned. A cloth-dressing mill 
was built at West Schuyler not far from 18 1 2, by Charles Brown, which 
passed to possession of Lovel Burch, who operated it several years when 
lack of that class of business in a farming community caused its abandon- 
ment. Robert Burch carried on an early tannery at West Schuyler, 
and there was one at East Schuyler, both of which disappeared many 
years ago. All of these early manufactories have been displaced by the 
more profitable cheese factories ; of these there are now five in the 

Among the very early merchants it is said that a man named Thomp- 
son kept a store during the Revolutionary War, between the turnpike 
and the river, on, land owned in later years by James Staring, near the 
fording place. Hasenclever had a store near where Nicholas and James 
Bridenbecker live. Philip Knapp had a store at the end of Richardson 
lane. A store was also located near where the half-way house 
was formerly kept, and one has existed many years at East Schuyler, 
generally in connection with the post-office. Among the merchants 
there have been David Smith, A. G. Colwell, Jesse Johnson, George H. 
Elwell, Duane Richardson, Edward Haver (who is also now post- 
master), and Newell Miller. The latter has also the grist-mil! at East 
Schuyler. Isaac Tallman, Ira Gordon, Warren Budlong, and Dorman 
Robbins kept stores at West Schuyler, Brayton Wood and William H. 
Griffith are the present merchants of that place, the latter succeeding 
L. D. Goodwin & Son. 

Adam Staring, it is said, kept the earliest tavern of which there is 
any knowledge, ..1 a log dwelling where the fort stood at the time of 
the Revolution. Amos Smith afterwards built a public house near 
where Staring had been, which was used as a stopping-place for stages 
and in which the post-office at East Schuyler was kept. Next west- 
ward from this was the popular half-way house, so called from its being 
midway between Utica and Herkimer. The construction of the rail- 
road caused its removal, after which it was used as a farm house. 
Judge Henri Staring kept a tavern at one period, and nearly two miles 



west William K. Knapp had a public house. At West Schuyler Charles 
Brown built a commodious tavern in i8li, in which he, Isaac Tallman 
and Ira Gordon kept a tavern or store, the latter during a period of 
twenty-two years. It is in this building that Brayton Wood now car- 
ries on business. The heavy stage travel of olden times through this 
valley gave liberal support to these various public houses; but with 
the building of the canal and railroads they rapidly fell into disuse. At 
the present time there is no tavern in the town. 

Schuyler was divided into school districts in 1813, but schools had 
been taught in the town long previous to that date. A German school 
was taught at East Schuyler under the patronage of Mr. Hasenclever, 
and another very early in the Stone Arabia section. A receipt is in 
existence given by " Henry Andrew Cramer, a schoolmaster," dated at 
"New Petersburg, iSth March, 1791," acknowledging that "Jacob 
Widrig paid one scheple (three pecks) of wheat, three scheples of maize, 
and one shilling for church and school bill in the year 1790 to the end 
of March, 1791, in full of all demands." A small school was taught by 
Cramer's wife in their dwelling on the farm now owned by Ira P. Bud- 
long. This was the old Cramer homestead. The first school-house 
was built on the site of the present one in district No. 4 in 1809, and 
others followed soon after the division into districts. There are now 
nine districts in the town. 

The Great Western Turnpike passes through this town, but it existed 
as a roadway, although more crooked than at present, long before the 
turnpike company was formed in 1802. The company took possession 
of the road, straightened and otherwise improved it and charged toll. 
What has been known as the " Steuben road " is partly in this town, 
some of it having been discontinued. It received its name from Baron 
Steuben, who was desirous of opening a highway from his home in 
Oneida county to the village of Herkimer, and accordingly employed a 
large number of men for that purpose. He laid out the road on the 
high land between the Mohawk and West Canada Creek, so as to avoid 
bridging the small streams that flow to the river and the creek. An 
early road was opened during the Revolution, from near the former resi- 
dence of Judge Staring, where the turnpike crosses Staring Creek to the 
river, and where there was a good fording place. It was long ago 



abandoned. The State road, laid out by commissioners appointed by 
the State, leads from West Canada Creek through " the Bush." There 
are four bridges across the Mohawk in this town, two at the east and 
two at the west end. 

With no village of importance in a favorable locality, the town 
of Schuyler received little direct benefit from the opening of the rail- 
roads through the valley. Even if it had been otherwise, the proxim- 
ity of the inhabitants to the thriving city of Utica would have precluded 
any consequent growth from the railroad. The town population is 
almost wholly of farmers, and many of the older families, especially of 
the northern part, have gone away and their lands have passed to the 
possession of others. 

The first town meeting in Schuyler was held on the second of April, 
1793, at the house of Captain George G. Weber. The following officers 
were elected : 

Francis Guiteau, town clerk; Isaac Brayton, supervisor; George Witherick, G. G. 
Weber, W. Fanning and J. Stafford, sr., assessors; Ezra Pain, John Ladd and Thomas 
Nicholas, commissioners of highways; Abel Austin, collector; James Denslow, Abel 
Austin and Andrew Bennett, constables; John Warren and Peter Fox, poormasters; 
James Gary, James Denslow, John Warren, Nicholas Weber, David Andrew, Nicholas 
Staring, Nathaniel White and Thomas Cain, pathmasters. The spelling of these names 
is as they appear on the records. 

Following is a list of supervisors of this town, and date of their in- 
cumbency : 

Isaac Brayton, 1793-06; William Fanning, 1796-98; Henry Coffin, 1798-1800; 
Benjamin Larned. 1800-02 ; Asaph Mather, 1802-04; Robert Burch, 1804-07, 1814- 15; 
Gideon Johnson, 1807-14-15-26; Thomas Burch, 1826-29; Joshua Mather, 1829-31- 
32-34; Lovel Burch, 1831-32; Calvin Wood, 1834-36; Nathan Budlong, 1836-38; 
Nathan Budlong, jr., 1838-39-40-41-42-44 ; George Burch, 1839-40 ; Vaughn Sweet, 
1841-42-44-45; Henry N. Staring, 184,5-47; Charles B. Ingham, 1847-49; Samuel 
Budlong, 18-19-51 ; Warren Richardson, 1851-52 ; Erasmus W. Day, 1852-55, 1859-CO; 
John W. Davison, 1853-54, 1860-62; Leland L. Kane, 1855-57, 1862-71; Warren D. 
Budlong. 1857-58; James B. Ladd, 1858-59, 1871-73; John M. Budlong, 1873-74, 
1877-83; Warren W. Richardson, 1874-76; W. V. Minott, 1884-85; Duane M. 
Richardson, 1886-91 ; Rufus H. Smith, 1892. 

The town of Schuyler has been represented in the Legislature of this 
State by Robert Burch in 18 1 1 and 1812; Olmsted Hough in 1813 ; 
George Burch, son of Robert Burch, in 1840; Harris Lewis in 1857 
and 1858; and Erasmus W. Day in 1S69. 


It is known that the German early settlers held regular religious 
services from the first, as they did in all the towns in which they dwelt. 
The first building in which public services were held was Hascnclever's, 
and the first building erected for church services was the school- house 
(intended also for school) already alluded to in district No. 4. This 
building was erected by personal contributions and was used for many 
years for school and church purposes. It was removed in 1836 to make 
room for the present school-house. 

The Baptist society at East Schuyler erected a church building in 
1821-22, on the site since occupied by the stone school house of district 
No. 3. In 1833 this building was taken down and again erected about 
a mile east of West Schuyler. The membership declined, the church 
became disorganized and the owner of the land demolished the building 
under his lease. 

In 1835 the Methodist Protestant church, a small society in "Stone 
Arabia" and " the Bush," feeling the need of a larger and more com- 
modious place of worship than the old square-roofed school-house 
afforded, consulted with the few aged members of the old Lutheran 
society, and with others who were not members of any religious society, 
and all united to build a meeting house. At the first meeting the fol- 
lowing persons were chosen trustees: Francis H. Pruyn, Daniel 
Bridenbecker, Philip Finster, Frederick Rinia, Peter Finster, Jacob P. 
Oyer and Peter Rima ; and Alexander Johnson was elected clerk. The 
house was built by J. D. W. Heald on a site donated by Peter Finster. 
Tliis church was occupied by the Methodist Protestants, although occa- 
sionally other denominations had services there for thirty- two years, 
when it was suffered to decay, and was finally sold and taken down. 

In June, 1853, the people of West Schuyler held a meeting prepara- 
tory to building a church. A small Methodist society had existed 
there for some time and was then under care of Rev. T. D. Mitchell. 
It was resolved to build a church with room for Sabbath-school, to be 
called " Embury Chapel." William Budlong, Hiram Tanner, Warren 
Day, William Vivyan and E. W. Day were elected trustees. The 
result of this action was the erection of the present church over which 
Rev. Stephen Cobb is pastor. On the 7th of August, 1865, a meeting 
of Methodists was held, with Rev. L. J. Cooper as chairman. Gilbert 

Town of Newport. 4o5 

Palmeter, August Klock and George Widrig were elected trustees, and 
it was resolved to erect a church to be known as "The First Methodist 
Protestant Church of Schuyler." The plans were consummated in the 
erection of the church near the Miller cemetery, northeast from West 
Schuyler. The Methodists built a church at the "Windfall," in 1866, 
at a cost of about $2,000, which is still in existence. Another Methodist 
church was built in the Staring neighborhood in the central part of the 
town in 1862. No services are now held here and the membership 
is small in all the churches thus described. At East Schuyler a Union 
church was erected in 1868 on the site of the old Protestant Methodist 
and Lutheran church by Free Methodists and others. The trustees 
were Newell Miller, John Sheaf, Daniel Oyer, Ira Finster, and A. L. 
Johnson. Irregular services are held here. 



NEWPORT lies in the western part of the county and is bounded on 
the north by Russia ; on the east by Fairfield and Norway ; on the 
south by Schuyler and Herkimer, and on the west by Oneida county. 
It was formed from Herkimer, Fairfield, Norway, and Schuyler, April 7, 
1806. The surface of the town is broken by ridges of highlands which 
rise from 400 to 500 feet on each side of the narrow intervale of West 
Canada Creek. This stream flows southeast across the town near the 
center. White Creek flows southerly through the eastern part. The 
soil is clayey loam, with some gravel on the high lands. A part of 
Hasenclever's and Walton's patents, and portions of the second and 
third allotments of the Royal Grant constitute the town. There were 
no settlements in the town prior to the Revolution. 

Daniel Campbell, of New York city, obtained title to the land where 
Newport village is situated in July, 1786, of the commissioners of 
forfeitures, but he did not settle on it. William, Ephraim and Benja- 
min Bowen purchased this land in 1788 and 1789. Christopher Hawkins 


was the first permanent settler in Newport and became its first super- 
visor. He was from Providence, R. I., and the town received its name 
from the fact that many of its early settlers came from the State in 
which the city of Newport is situated. Hawkins first came into the 
town of Fairfield and removed to Newport in 1791, settling on the farm 
south of the village now owned by the heirs of David D. Crumby. In 
the spring of 1791 Hawkins erected a small house for the Bowens on 
the lands they had purchased. In 1793 Benjamin Bowen built the first 
saw- mill in the town, and the next year put up a grist-mill, both of 
which were on the West Canada Creek in the limits of the present 
village of Newport, and on the site of the present mill. Soon following 
the pioneers came Joseph Benchley, William Wakely, John Burton, 
Stephen Hawkins, George Cook, Edward Coffin, John Nelson, John G. 
Green, John Churchill, George Fenner, and William Whipple, all of 
whom settled prior to 1798; and Israel Wakely, Westel Willoughby, 
Levi Bowen, and Sherman Wooster came soon afterward. These families 
were all from New England. Churchill, Coffin, Green, Bowen and 
Nelson purchased lands on the west side of the creek, and the others on 
the east side and near the site of the village. Descendants of several of 
them are now living in the town. The first death was that of Silas 
Hawkins, in 1793. The first school was taught by Abby Justine in 
1795, near the village site. William Wakely kept the first hotel in 1793 
near the present residence of Dr. J. B. Holcomb. George Cook was 
the first merchant and his store was near the site of the Catholic church. 
Nahum Daniels occupied the corner of Main and Bridge streets, where 
the hotel is ; it was formerly a store kept by Samuel Perry, father of the 
late Stuart Perry. John Burton owned the farm afterwards occupied by 
his son Darius, now owned by William Reynolds. John Burton was a 
carpenter and built for Benjamin Bowen the house now occupied by 
Miss Frances Waterman. 

The first town meeting held after the organization of the town was 
held on the 3d of March, 1807. Westel Willoughby was chosen mod- 
erator and the following officers were elected : 

Christopher Hawkins, supervisor; Phineas Slieniian, lovvn clerk; Stephen Brayton, 
Cyrus Butterfield and Seth Smith, assessors; Dan Post and Joseph Terry, overseers of 
the poor ; WilHam Wakely, Joseph Benchley and James Keith, commissioners of high- 
ways; Biisha Enos, jr., and Thaddeus Ketcliuni, constables; Ehsha Enos, collector; 
Ehsha Eaos, Jairus Bragg, Jabez Lyon and Elnathan Stephens, poundkeepers. 


The usual votes were taken to control horses and cattle, offerino- 
bounties on wild animals, etc., and on the 9th of March, 1807, the town 
was divided into twenty road districts. The first census of the town, 
taken in 1807, showed 199 heads of families. The first board of school 
commissioners was elected in 181 3, and consisted of Sherman Wooster, 
Darius Hawkins, and Samuel Keith. 

Following is a list of supervisors of the town of Newport from its 
organization to the present time: 

Christopher Hawkins, 1807-16; 1823; Sherman Wooster, 1817-22, 1824-33 ; Henry 
Carter, 1834-3G ; Standish Barry, 1837, 1843-46 ; Daniel Post, 1838 ; William S. Benchley, 
1841-42; Henry L. Ward, 1847, 1867-71; Aaron G. Swift, 1848-50 ; Harvey Farring- 
ton, 1851-52; John C. Harris, 1853 ; Ira L. Cady, 1854-57; John G. Barry, 1858-59- 
1861-66 ; Nathan Bowen, 1860 ; John H. Wooster, 1865 (resigned in April) ; Richard 
K. Brown, 1872 ; William Getman, 1873-74 (resigned) ; Henry G. Burlingame, 1875-76 ■ 
Waldo Sherman, 1877; Henry W. Dexter, 1878; A. J. Browne, 1879, 1885; Warren 
A. Brayton, 1880-1882; C. J. Mather, 1883; Thomas E. Merritt, 1884, 1887; Daniel P. 
Wooster. 1886; George H. Hurlbut, 1888; Frank E. Pearoe, 1889, 1890; Clinton A. 
Moon, 1891 ; Fred D. Mather, 1892. 

The settlers in Newport down to about 1830 continued to come from 
New England ; but after that time and following the opening of the 
Erie Canal, many emigrants from Ireland located in the town, and at 
the present time probably constitute, with their descendants, one. quar- 
ter of the population, most of them being among the farmers. 

Col. Standish Barry was born at Baltimore, Md., in 1794. He 
removed to Newport with his father-in-law, Capt. Ezra Pierce, in 18 16, 
and engaged in mercantile business there and at Middleville, continuing 
until 1847. I" the last named year he was elected clerk of the county 
and held that office two successive terms. At the organization of the 
Newport Bank, in 1858, Col. Barry was chosen cashier, and occupied 
that position several years; he was also at one time vice-president of 
the National Herkimer County Bank, at Little Falls. In September, 
1861, he was appointed assistant treasurer of the United States by the 
late Gen. Francis E. Spinner, holding that office at the time of his 
death, which occurred at Newport, October 20, 1866. His widow, Mrs. 
Lydia C. Barry, is still living at Newport. Col. Barry's surviving chil- 
dreu are : John Barry, Mrs. Sherman Wooster and Mrs. Jane B. Pom- 
eroy, of Newport; Mrs. A. M. Mills, of Little Falls. 


The elder Sherman Wooster came to Newport in 1804, was super- 
visor several terms, and was father of the venerable Sherman Wooster, 
who still lives in the village. Henry Carter was an early merchant. 
William S. Benchley kept tavern in the village many years, and at one 
period was engaged in the manufacture of hats Jeduthun Steele, 
Ralph Waterman and William F. Fraser were lawyers in Newport be- 
fore 1825. Daniel Post was a prominent early farmer two miles east of 
the village. The late Harry Waterman was for many years a promi- 
nent citizen, and identified with the business interests of the town. 
Stuart Perry, the inventor, was born here in 1837, and lived at what 
has long been known as " Perry's Park," in which formerly stood the 
house of Dr. Westel Willoughby. 

Newport is essentially a dairy town and one of the best in the county. 
There are four prosperous cheese factories in the town, and since the 
opening of the railroad and its recent extension by the Adirondack 
and St. Lawrence Company, the markets are easily accessible. 

The Village of Nczvport — Was incorporated March 20, 1857, and on 
the 5th of May the first officers were elected as follow: President, 
Linus Yale ; trustees, John G. Barry, Hezekiah S. Bowen, Elijah 
Holmes and William S. Benchley; assessors, Jeremiah Fenner, Arza 
Newman, George B. Hawkins ; clerk, Clinton A. Moon. 

The following have been presidents of the village since its incorpora- 
tion : 

Linus Yale, 1857; ■John H. Woo.ster, 1858-G4 ; William Getman, 1865-69; Albert 
M. Mills, 1870, 1871; Elisha Thornton, 1872; George W. Payne, 1873; Henry W. 
Dexter, 1874, 1875; Albert J. Browne, 1876, 1877; William A. Ingham, 1878; George 
H. Hurlburt, 1880; E. P. Iladcock, 1881; A. J. Browne, 1882 ; T. E. Merritt, 1883; 
Jesse A. Perkins, 1884; D. P. Wooster, 1885; A. J. Browne, 1887; D. P. Wooster, 
1888; J. T. Davis and F. D. Mather, 1889; Thomas Bowen, 1890; W. A. Ingham, 
1891 ; H. W. Dexter, 1892. William E. Stronp, Benjamin K. Brown, and Howard 
Voorhees are trustees ; Charles L. Fellows, clerk. 

The stone bridge across the creek at Newport was built in 1853 and 
cost $4,000. The residence of Sherman Wooster was built by his 
father in 18 16, and its substantial walls are nearly as perfect to-day as 
then. Dr. Westel Willoughby was a prominent citizen of the village in 
early years and provided himself with a beautiful home on the eastern 
shore of the creek. (A further sketch of Dr. Willoughby will be found 
in the chapter on the medical profession.) 


Bank. — The Dairyman's Bank was established in Newport in 1853, 
and continued in existence until 1857. Harvey Doolittle was the prin- 
cipal founder and manager. He was also cashier and largely interested 
in the Agricultural Bank at Herkimer, which failed and carried with it the 
Dairyman's Bank, causing a loss to depositors of about thirty per cent. 
In 1858 the Bank of Newport was organized under the banking laws of 
the State, with William W. Sweezey as president, and Standish Barry as 
cashier. This institution was continued thus until 1866, when it was 
reorganized as a national bank, with a capital of $50,000. Varnum S. 
Kenyon was made the first president under the new organization, and 
William Getman cashier. Upon the death of Mr. Kenyon in 1874, 
George H. Thomas was elected president and has held the office ever 
since. Mr. Getman died in 1873 and Joseph T. Wooster was chosen 
cashier, and is still in that position. The present directors, besides the 
two officers named, are D. B. Wooster, Elisha Thornton, H. W. Dex- 
ter. The deposits are about $90,000, with surplus and profits of about 
$38,000. The bank building on the corner of Main and Bridge streets 
was erected in 1854 by the firm of Perry & Sweezey, composed of Sam- 
uel Perry, Stuart Perry, and William Sweezey, who were then extensive 
dealers in butter and cheese. 

Manufactures. — Within recent years Newport has awakened to the 
fact that she is in possession of valuable water power; that her shipping 
facilities are good and being rapidly made much better through the build- 
ing of the new railroad, and that manufacturing enterprise is one of the 
chief elements in the healthful growth of a village. This feeling has led 
to the establishment of several properous concerns, which will be followed 
by others. A tannery was built at Newport in early years, which was 
being operated in 1 846 by Orin Brown, who sold it in that year to Henry 
Waterman. Afterwards it passed through the hands of H. G. Burlin- 
game, Snell & Ingham, and Luke Snell. In 1889 Mr. Snell sold it to 
the Newport Improvement Company, an organization of citizens formed 
for the purpose of advancing the interests of the place. By this com- 
pany the property was leased to Woodin & West for a period of forty- 
nine years, on advantageous terms, provided they would operate a 
factory. They immediately established a plant for the manufacture of 
knit underwear and continued until June, 1S90, when they sold out to 


the West Brothers, who immediately doubled the capacity of the fac- 
tory, and now employ seventy- five hands, mostly girls. Their large 
product finds a ready market. The firm is composed of Eugene and 
George West. 

The Adirondack Knitting-Mills were started in December, 1891, and 
now employ thirty- five hands, making ladies', misses' and children's 
jersey ribbed underwear in various kinds of fibre. The company was 
organized with a capital of $5,500, with M. N. Pearce as president, C. 
A. Moore, secretary, and W. A. Ingham, treasurer. 

The saw-mill in Newport is now operated by the estate of Henry G. 
Burlingame and the grist-mill by M'chael Gallagher. F. D. Mather, 
M. N. Pearce, D. Wells, Dr. L, C Jexter and M. J. Brett are pros- 
perous merchants in the village ; and E. C. Spellman and Samuel 
Hodge are proprietors of the Spellman House and the Ingham House 
respectively. The postmaster is George Hurlbut, who succeeded F. D. 
Mather. Hon. Elisha P. Hurlbut, e.x-justice Supreme Court, resided 
here for several years after 1855, and removed to Albany. 

In 1 86 1 a committee was appointed by the trustees of the village to 
buy a fire engine with the fund that had been raised for that purpose, 
amounting to $802. The engine was purchased of Cowing & Com- 
pany, of Seneca Falls, and is still in use. The company is designated as 
Wadsworth Fire Company, No. 3. The engine-house was built about 
1876, with a village lock-up in the lower story. A chief of police is 
appointed by the trustees, Henry Joubin now filling the office. 

Schools and Churches. — Previous to its incorporation in 1847 the vil- 
lage of Newport was divided into school districts, one on each side of 
the creek. With the incorporation of the place the two districts were 
consolidated with the view of establishing a graded school ; but in spite 
of the efforts of several prominent citizens to this end the project failed, 
and the old school-house continued to be occupied until 1875, when the 
present commodious school building was erected. The district was or- 
ganized as a union free school district in 1877. There are now eight 
school districts in the town. 

Besides the churches now in the village of Newport, there were 
formerly three others, all located near the hamlet known as Martin's 
Corners. These were a Welsh, a Baptist and the old Roman Catholic 
church, all of which have substantially disappeared, as far as societies 


and congregations are concerned, the churches in the village receiving 
a large share of those who formerly attended at that point. In New- 
port village there are four churches — Methodist, Baptist, Universalist 
and Roman Catholic ; but the material for their historj' is very meager. 
The Universalist church had its origin in an organization of March 28, 

1842, composed of persons who joined together to erect a church under 
the name of the Newport Union Association ; the union embraced 
Universalists, Unitarians and Episcopalians. Soon afterward the two 
last denominations failed to support stated preaching, and the property 
passed to the Universalists according to the compact. In January, 

1843, the Universalists and Unitarians organized under the name of 
"The First Christian Society of the Universalists and Unitarians of the 
Town of Newport." December 28, 1844, a new constitution was 
adopted, giving the society a distinctive Universalist character. On 
the 1st of March, 1858, the society title was dropped and the name of 
" The Church of the Reconciliation of the town of Newport " added. 
Previous to the erection of the present building meetings were held in 
the school- house and in the old stone church of the Baptists. The 
present church was built in 1843. The building has been improved 
and repaired recently. There has not been regular preaching in this 
church for some time. 

The date of the organization of the Methodist church in Newport is 
unobtainable ; but previous to its organization the Methodists were in 
union with the Presbyterians and erected the building that was sold to 
the Catholics in 1844. Between that year and 1871 the Methodists 
had no church edifice here. In June, 1871, the president building was 
dedicated, and the parlors were added in 1887. The present pastor of 
the church is Rev. Rev. W. F. Ball, who lives in Newport, and preaches 
here and at Poland. He has been in Newport since 1884. 

The present Catholic church building was purchased of the Method- 
ists and Presbyterians in 1844 through Henry Waterman. The Cath- 
olic society is organized under the name of St. John's, and is connected 
with the Church of the Assumption of Middleville. In 1844 the parish 
was ministered to by Rev. Father John Herbs, who was succeeded by 
Father Fitzgerald, and he by Father Keating. Father Thornton was 
the next pastor, and was succeeded by Father Burke. In 1875 Rev. 
Father Henry Herfkins came to the church and still remains in charge. 




THE town of Norway was organized April lo, 1792, by act ot 

Its boundaries included the towns of Fairfield, Russia, Ohio, and 
Wilmurt, and that portion of Newport lying easterly of the West Can- 
ada Creek in Herkimer county; portions of Oneida, Lewis and Clinton 
counties; all of Hamilton, and a large portion of St. Lawrence. About 
thirty-five towns are now located within its former limits. Fairfield 
was taken off in 1796; Remsen (Oneida county), in 1798; Russia (as 
" Union "), and a part of Newport, in 1806, and Ohio (as "West Bruns- 
wick ") in 1823. Since that date no boundary changes have occurred. 

The surface of the town is elevated and rolling. It is drained by 
numerous small streams flowing northward and westward into Black 
and White Creeks, tributaries of West Canada Creek, and a few rivulets 
flowing easterly into Spruce Creek, a tributary of East Canada Creek. 
An elevated ridge extending from southeast to northwest, through the 
central portion of the town, forms its geographical backbone, or 
"grand divide." Before settlement an unbroken forest of splendid 
timber covered the whole surface, composed mainly of maple and beech, 
with a generous sprinkling of birch, elm, basswood, butternut, and ash, 
and a border of hemlock along the streams. A narrow strip of ever- 
green timber extends along the northern border of the town, and sev- 
eral small cedar swamps are located in the eastern part. The soil in the 
main is strong and rich, and admirably adapted to grazing. 

One event that antedates the coming of the first pioneers deserves 
mention: In October, 1781, Butler and Ross, with a force of British 
tories and Indians, came from Canada, via Oswego, and engaged in a 
murdering raid in the Mohawk valley. Near Johnstown they were so 
roughly handled by the American forces under Colonel Willett, that 

* Prepared by Fred. Smith, of Norway. 


they were forced to retreat, and chose a direct route for home through 
the unbroken wilderness. On the night of October 29, 1781, Butler 
camped about four miles northeast of Norway village, and the location 
has since borne the name of " Butler's Ridge." Colonel Willett left 
Fort Dayton, now Herkimer, the same day with some 400 patriot sol- 
diers to intercept the enemy. He followed up West Creek to a point 
near where Middleville is now located, and then struck through the for- 
est in a northeast direction, and camped a mile and a half southerly of 
Butler. His scouts discovered the tory camp during the night, and 
early next morning both armies were on the march. Near the Black 
Creek fording place the rear of Butler's forces were overtaken and a 
skirmish ensued ; one or two soldiers were killed, and here Norway soil 
drank the blood of the Revolution. The allied forces of Butler made 
a hurried retreat across the present town of Ohio, closely followed by 
Willett, and at West Creek the notorious Butler was killed and the pur- 
suit abandoned. 

The first attempt to settle was made in the year 1786, by a Mr. Whip- 
ple and Christopher Hawkins, from Rhode Island, who made a small 
clearing and erected a log shanty about one mile west of the site of 
Norway village. Before making much headway in their enterprise, 
they found they had made a mistake in locating their lot, and of course 
abandoned it. The next year, 1787, as near as can be ascertained, wit- 
nessed the first permanent settlement. 

Jeremiah Potter was born in Cranston, R. I., March 3, 1737. He 
was the father of a large family of children, among whom were Fisher, 
Jeremiah, jr., Angel, Lemuel, Philip W., Keziah, Mary and Sarah. 
Marvelous stories of the cheap and fertile lands of the Royal Grant in 
"York State" had reached their ears, and they resolved to leave *' Lit- 
tle Rhody " and carve out new homes in the then far- off and almost 
unknown wilderness. Late in the winter or early in the spring of 1787 
the three sons first named, and the daughters Mary and Sarah started 
for " the Grant." The lot they selected was No. 4 of the third allot- 
ment of the Royal Grant, containing 300 acres, being 300 rods in length 
east and west, and 160 rods in width. The owner of the property re- 
sided at Albany, and he gave the Potters a lease for twenty-one years, 
with the privilege of purchasing at the expiration of that time for twenty 


shillings per acre. The southeast corner of tlie lot, near where the first 
clearing was made, is about half a mile directly north from Norway vil- 
lage. The first year's attempt of the Potter boys in farming was but a 
partial success; a very early frost seriously injured their growing crops. 
Winter set in early in November; snow fell to the depth of nearly four 
feet and remained until April. To add to their misfortunes, their pota- 
toes froze during the first cold weather. Having no bread, they were 
dependent during the early part of winter upon beans and a small 
amount of pork that they had brought with them. These were con- 
sumed before spring, and for some time they mostly subsisted upon 
frozen potatoes, and an occasional rabbit they killed. A cow they 
brought with them, the first in the town, they wintered in good condi- 
tion upon browse and the few cornstalks they had raised, and she was, 
no doubt, found an important addition to their supplies. With their 
nearest neighbors seven miles away, it is needless to add that their first 
winter in their wilderness home was long, dreary, and lonesome. About 
the 1st of April, 1788, their parents and other members of the family 
arrived. The land was paid for and divided among the family. The 
three daughters married as follows : Keziah, Clark Smith ; Sarah, 
Rufus Eaton ; and Mary, Dr. Amos Haile, all of the town of Fairfield, 
and well known as being among the early and most reputable citizens 
of that town. 

Jeremiah Potter died January 27, 1813 ; his wife May 13, 1826. 
They are both buried in the cemetery at Norway village. All of the 
sons left the town at an early day, except Philip W., the youngest, who 
died May 13, 1861, and was the last representative of the Potter family 
in the town. The Potter family was a fair average of the New England 
emigrants of that day. If undue prominence has been given this fam- 
ily it is on account of its members being the first settlers. 

Who next settled after the Potters is not positively known ; it is 
quite certain that other families came into their immediate neighbor- 
hood very soon after their arrival. 

Thomas Manly came into this town from Bennington county, Ver- 
mont, in the spring of 1789; made a small clearing and erected a log 
cabin about one mile directly south of Norway village. He moved his 
family, consisting of his wife and son Ira, then but a few weeks old, into 


the town in March, 1790, on an ox sled. Manly was a man of energy, 
intelligence and integrity, and at once became prominent in town and 
county, affairs. He died in this town January 21, 1852, aged eighty- 
eight years and six months. 

David Underhill, John and David Corp and N. Fanning, all from 
Vermont, settled in the town either in 1789 or 1790; Underhill near 
Manly's, the others about a mile and a half easterly from Norway vil- 
lage. Several families by the name of Brayton, from Rensselaer 
county, located about the same date two miles southeast of Norway 
village, but soon removed from town. 

The first birth in the town was that of a child of Gideon Brayton; 
the first death that of the wife of Elihu Hinman. 

John, Andrew and Amos Coe and Captain David Hinman, from 
Southbury, Conn., settled in Norway previous to 1790. They located 
a short distance northerly from Norway village. John Coe was a man 
of decided ability ; a noted law character, and a successful practitioner 
in justices' courts. Ira Coe, a son of Amos, was a prominent farmer, 
magistrate and lawyer. In 1840 he was appointed one of the judges of 
the County Court. He died in this town February 5, 1861. 

From 1790 to 1800 Norway was settled rapidly with emigrants from 
the eastern counties of the State and from New England. The beginning 
of the century found the town dotted over with clearings and log houses, 
there being at that date over one hundred and sixty families residing 
within the present town limits ; more families than at this date, not enu- 
merating village residents. 

Some of the prominent settlers during this period deserve notice : 
Edward Henderson came from Vermont in 1792 and settled in the 
south part of the town. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary 
Mathews, was a woman of remarkable talents and intelligence. Daniel 
C, a son, was one of the leading citizens in this town. He was a jus- 
tice for many years, served as supervisor one term, and was elected 
member of Assembly in 1826. He died in the town in i860. Hugh, 
another son, removed to Illinois, but died while on a visit to Norway in 

David Smith, who came from Massachusetts in 1793, James Giles, 
Stephen Babbitt, Nathaniel Post and William Forsyth were prominent 


early settlers in the southern portion of the town ; James Norton, Jared 
Dorman, Benjamin Nichols, Sylvanus Ferris and Benjamin Hall were 
leading citizens in the eastern portion. Ferris was one of the most suc- 
cessful early settlers. He purchased a farm two miles east of Norway 
village; paid for it by the ashes saved and sold in clearing it off; 
erected good farm buildings ; bought several adjoining farms, and traf- 
ficked considerably in farm produce. He removed to the town of Rus- 
sia about 1830 with two of his sons, leaving four married sons on good 
dairy farms and in good circumstances. In 1835 the western fever in- 
duced him to visit Illinois, and he was so well pleased with the country 
that he purchased a section of land for himself and one for each of his 
si.K sons in Knox county, and near the present flourishing city of Gales- 
burg. Soon after he and all his sons but Timothy H. removed there, 
where he died at a ripe old age. 

Moses and Uriah Tompkins came into the town from the vicinity of 
Albany in 1793; Stephen, another brother, a few years later. Before 
coming they had purchased a tract of land in the northeast part of the 
town, without seeing it, of a Methodist minister, who represented that 
it was timbered with a splendid growth of pine. They found fine tim- 
ber, but the pines were all hemlocks, and the land poor and frosty. To 
the credit of that minister it should be said his misrepresentations were 
not intentional. Pardon Tillinghast, Philip Angell, Samuel Brainard, 
William Service, John Vandenburgh, Clark Baker, Samuel Rathbun, 
Sylvanus and Josiah Crosby, John Pullman, Moses Gage, Samuel 
Western, Timothy Johnson, Christopher Cadman, Joseph Bly, Jacob 
Bullock and Benjamin Benjamin each deserves notice. 

Daniel Hurlbut, an early blacksmith, was a man of considerable 
prominence. He was appointed one of the county judges in 1817, and 
held that position three years. His three sons, William H., Seth and 
Elisha P., were well known and prominent citizens. 

Jared Smith moved from Freehold, Greene county, in 1797. He had 
previously emigrated from Southbury, Conn., which was the native 
town of a number of early settlers, including the Coe, Hinman, John- 
son, Curtis, Hine and Munn families. He was a magistrate for some 
years, and died in the town in 1846. About or soon after 1800 Na- 
thaniel Salisbury, Ebenezer Hurd, Daniel Carpenter, Jared Thayer, 


Danforth Doty, Caleb Sheldon, Amos and Simeon Ives, Samuel Sher- 
man and Noble Ross settled in Norway. Two of Carpenter's sons, 
Samuel and Azel, became large land owners and wealthy. Salisbury 
and Ross were mechanics and farmers ; were men of character and in- 
fluence, and lived to an advanced age. 

Dairying. — The early settlers had their full share of the toils and pri- 
vations incident to pioneer life, but, hardy and hopeful, thej' battled 
courageously and successfully with adverse circumstances. A great 
majorit}' who remained and patiently followed agricultural pursuits ac- 
quired competence ; many wealth. 

The forests were reduced to ashes ; crops and herds of sheep fol- 
lowed, wool and flax furnished clothing — spinning wheels and looms 
were found in almost every household. The magnificent maples fur- 
nished an abundant supply of sugar. 

The New England emigrants brought with them the art of cheese- 
making, and were not slow in finding the s